Observations of near-surface vertical wind profiles and vertical momentum fluxes from VORTEX-SE 2017: Comparisons to Monin–Obukhov similarity theory

Paul M. Markowski, Nathan T. Lis, David D. Turner, Temple R. Lee, Michael S. Buban

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Observations of near-surface vertical wind profiles and vertical momentum fluxes obtained from a Doppler lidar and instrumented towers deployed during VORTEX-SE in the spring of 2017 are analyzed. In particular, departures from the predictions of Monin–Obukhov similarity theory (MOST) are documented on thunderstorm days, both in the warm air masses ahead of storms and within the cool outflow of storms, where MOST assumptions (e.g., horizontal homogeneity and a steady state) are least credible. In these regions, it is found that the nondimensional vertical wind shear near the surface commonly exceeds predictions by MOST. The departures from MOST have implications for the specification of the lower boundary condition in numerical simulations of convective storms. Documenting departures from MOST is a necessary first-step toward improving the lower boundary condition and parameterization of near-surface turbulence (‘‘wall models’’) in storm simulations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3811-3824
Number of pages14
JournalMonthly Weather Review
Volume147
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

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wind profile
momentum
boundary condition
Doppler lidar
wind shear
thunderstorm
prediction
air mass
homogeneity
simulation
parameterization
outflow
turbulence
comparison

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science

Cite this

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abstract = "Observations of near-surface vertical wind profiles and vertical momentum fluxes obtained from a Doppler lidar and instrumented towers deployed during VORTEX-SE in the spring of 2017 are analyzed. In particular, departures from the predictions of Monin–Obukhov similarity theory (MOST) are documented on thunderstorm days, both in the warm air masses ahead of storms and within the cool outflow of storms, where MOST assumptions (e.g., horizontal homogeneity and a steady state) are least credible. In these regions, it is found that the nondimensional vertical wind shear near the surface commonly exceeds predictions by MOST. The departures from MOST have implications for the specification of the lower boundary condition in numerical simulations of convective storms. Documenting departures from MOST is a necessary first-step toward improving the lower boundary condition and parameterization of near-surface turbulence (‘‘wall models’’) in storm simulations.",
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Observations of near-surface vertical wind profiles and vertical momentum fluxes from VORTEX-SE 2017 : Comparisons to Monin–Obukhov similarity theory. / Markowski, Paul M.; Lis, Nathan T.; Turner, David D.; Lee, Temple R.; Buban, Michael S.

In: Monthly Weather Review, Vol. 147, No. 10, 01.01.2019, p. 3811-3824.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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T2 - Comparisons to Monin–Obukhov similarity theory

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AU - Lis, Nathan T.

AU - Turner, David D.

AU - Lee, Temple R.

AU - Buban, Michael S.

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AB - Observations of near-surface vertical wind profiles and vertical momentum fluxes obtained from a Doppler lidar and instrumented towers deployed during VORTEX-SE in the spring of 2017 are analyzed. In particular, departures from the predictions of Monin–Obukhov similarity theory (MOST) are documented on thunderstorm days, both in the warm air masses ahead of storms and within the cool outflow of storms, where MOST assumptions (e.g., horizontal homogeneity and a steady state) are least credible. In these regions, it is found that the nondimensional vertical wind shear near the surface commonly exceeds predictions by MOST. The departures from MOST have implications for the specification of the lower boundary condition in numerical simulations of convective storms. Documenting departures from MOST is a necessary first-step toward improving the lower boundary condition and parameterization of near-surface turbulence (‘‘wall models’’) in storm simulations.

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