12th Conference on Mountain Meteorology


Analysis of cold pool formation and erosion in the owens valley region of california

Adam J. Christman, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ; and R. Calhoun, A. Wieser, and H. J. S. Fernando

Observational data was collected from the Terrain-Induced Rotor Experiment (TREX) conducted in Independence, California in the Owens Valley Region. The Sierra Nevada mountain range lies to the region's west and the Inyo mountain range lies its east resulting in a long, deep, north-south oriented valley. During calm and nocturnal conditions, large masses of cold air, known as cold pools, can form in the valley basin via down-slope air mass flow and radiative cooling at the valley floor. Cold pools can subsequently be broken up by daytime insolation and by turbulent shear associated with the dominant upper level airflow over the Sierra Nevada range. Measurements were taken from Arizona State University's energy budget station to calculate sensible and latent heat fluxes and ground heat flux. Additionally, ASU's sodar/rass measured the vertical temperature profile of the cold pool and their Doppler lidar system was used to capture wind profiles at the top of the cold pools. An attempt is made to classify conditions under which cold pools form in the Owens Valley and an analysis is made to describe the relative contributions of insolation and turbulent shear to cold pool destruction.

extended abstract  Extended Abstract (1.6M)

Session 6, Boundary Layers in Complex Terrain: Part II
Tuesday, 29 August 2006, 10:30 AM-12:00 PM, Ballroom South

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