Idealized large-eddy simulations of a tropical cyclone-like boundary layer

Benjamin W. Green, Fuqing Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The tropical cyclone (TC) boundary layer (TCBL)-featuring extreme winds over a rough ocean-is difficult to study observationally. With increasing computational power, high-resolution large-eddy simulation (LES) has become an attractive tool to advance understanding of the TCBL. Here, an idealized Cartesian-based LES is employed to investigate boundary layers driven by extreme TC-like winds. The LES includes the effects of centripetal acceleration through an "effective" Coriolis parameter f * = f + 2V g /R, with the Earth Coriolis parameter f, gradient wind V g , and (fixed) radius R. Multiple LES experiments are conducted to elucidate how the boundary layer develops and persists in the strongly rotating TC environment. In all simulations, an overshooting jet develops, the height of which increases with V g , R, and surface drag. Normalized jet strength also increases with R and drag but decreases with V g . Turbulent diffusivity K m -which must be parameterized in mesoscale and global models but can be diagnosed by LES-varies considerably both within and among simulations. Also evident is a pseudo-inertial oscillation with a period close to the theoretical 2π/f * and an amplitude that decreases exponentially with time. The LES simulations agree with the linear theory for partial-slip Ekman spirals, except when the effects of K m overwhelmingly counter the effects of V g .

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1743-1764
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of the Atmospheric Sciences
Volume72
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

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large eddy simulation
tropical cyclone
boundary layer
drag
simulation
diffusivity
oscillation
ocean
effect
experiment

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science

Cite this

Green, Benjamin W. ; Zhang, Fuqing. / Idealized large-eddy simulations of a tropical cyclone-like boundary layer. In: Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences. 2015 ; Vol. 72, No. 5. pp. 1743-1764.
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Idealized large-eddy simulations of a tropical cyclone-like boundary layer. / Green, Benjamin W.; Zhang, Fuqing.

In: Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, Vol. 72, No. 5, 01.01.2015, p. 1743-1764.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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