The nocturnal evolution of atmospheric structure in a basin as a larger-scale katabatic flow is lifted over its rim

The nocturnal evolution of atmospheric structure in a basin as a larger-scale katabatic flow is... AbstractThe successive stages of nocturnal atmospheric structure inside a small isolated basin are investigated when a katabatically driven flow on an adjacent tilted plain advects cold air over the basin rim. Data came from the Arizona Meteor Crater during Intensive Observing Period 4 of the Second Meteor Crater Experiment (METCRAX II) when a mesoscale flow above the plain was superimposed on the katabatic flow leading to a flow acceleration and then deceleration over the course of the night. Following an overflow initiation phase, the basin atmosphere over the upwind inner sidewall progressed through 3 stages as the katabatic flow accelerated: 1) a cold air intrusion phase in which the overflowing cold air accelerated down the upwind inner sidewall, 2) a bifurcation phase in which the katabatic stable layer lifted over the rim included both a non-negatively buoyant upper layer that flowed horizontally over the basin and a negatively buoyant lower layer (the cold air intrusion) that continued on the slope below to create a hydraulic jump at the foot of the sidewall, and 3) a final warm air intrusion phase in which shear instability in the upper overflowing layer produced a lee wave that brought warm air from the elevated residual layer downward into the basin. Strong winds during the 3rd phase penetrated to the basin floor, stirring the pre-existing, intensely stable, cold pool. Later in the night a wind direction change aloft decelerated the katabatic wind and the atmosphere progressed back through the bifurcation and cold air intrusion phases. A conceptual diagram illustrates the first four evolutionary phases. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology American Meteorological Society

The nocturnal evolution of atmospheric structure in a basin as a larger-scale katabatic flow is lifted over its rim

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Publisher
American Meteorological Society
Copyright
Copyright © American Meteorological Society
ISSN
1558-8432
D.O.I.
10.1175/JAMC-D-17-0156.1
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

AbstractThe successive stages of nocturnal atmospheric structure inside a small isolated basin are investigated when a katabatically driven flow on an adjacent tilted plain advects cold air over the basin rim. Data came from the Arizona Meteor Crater during Intensive Observing Period 4 of the Second Meteor Crater Experiment (METCRAX II) when a mesoscale flow above the plain was superimposed on the katabatic flow leading to a flow acceleration and then deceleration over the course of the night. Following an overflow initiation phase, the basin atmosphere over the upwind inner sidewall progressed through 3 stages as the katabatic flow accelerated: 1) a cold air intrusion phase in which the overflowing cold air accelerated down the upwind inner sidewall, 2) a bifurcation phase in which the katabatic stable layer lifted over the rim included both a non-negatively buoyant upper layer that flowed horizontally over the basin and a negatively buoyant lower layer (the cold air intrusion) that continued on the slope below to create a hydraulic jump at the foot of the sidewall, and 3) a final warm air intrusion phase in which shear instability in the upper overflowing layer produced a lee wave that brought warm air from the elevated residual layer downward into the basin. Strong winds during the 3rd phase penetrated to the basin floor, stirring the pre-existing, intensely stable, cold pool. Later in the night a wind direction change aloft decelerated the katabatic wind and the atmosphere progressed back through the bifurcation and cold air intrusion phases. A conceptual diagram illustrates the first four evolutionary phases.

Journal

Journal of Applied Meteorology and ClimatologyAmerican Meteorological Society

Published: Mar 2, 2018

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