LES of laminar flow in the PBL: A potential problem for convective storm simulations

Paul M. Markowski, George H. Bryan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


In idealized simulations of convective storms, which are almost always run as large-eddy simulations (LES), the planetary boundary layers (PBLs) are typically laminar (i.e., they lack turbulent eddies). When compared with turbulent simulations, theory, or simulations with PBL schemes, the typically laminar LES used in the severe-storms community produce unrealistic near-surface vertical wind profiles containing excessive vertical wind shear when the lower boundary condition is nonfree slip. Such simulations are potentially problematic given the recent interest within the severe storms community in the influence of friction on vorticity generation within tornadic storms. Simulations are run as LES that include surface friction but lack well-resolved turbulent eddies, thus they probably overestimate friction's effects on storms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1841-1850
Number of pages10
JournalMonthly Weather Review
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science


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