Toward improved forecasts of sea-breeze horizontal convective rolls at super high resolutions. Part I: Configuration and verification of a down-scaling simulation system (DS3)

Guixing Chen, Xinyue Zhu, Weiming Sha, Toshiki Iwasaki, Hiromu Seko, Kazuo Saito, Hironori Iwai, Shoken Ishii

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Horizontal convective rolls (HCRs) that develop in sea breezes greatly influence local weather in coastal areas. In this study, the authors present a realistic simulation of sea-breeze HCRs over an urban-scale area at a resolution of a few meters. An advanced Down-Scaling Simulation System (DS3) is built to derive the analyzed data using a nonhydrostatic model and data assimilation scheme that drive a building-resolving computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model. The mesoscale-analyzed data well capture the inland penetration of the sea breeze in northeastern Japan. The CFD model reproduces the HCRs over Sendai Airport in terms of their coastal initiation, inland growth, streamwise orientation, specific locations, roll wavelength, secondary flows, and regional differences due to complex surfaces. The simulated HCRs agree fairly well with those observed by dual-Doppler lidar and heliborne sensors. Both the simulation and observation analyses suggest that roll updrafts typically originate in the narrow bands of low-speed streaks and warm air near the ground. The HCRs are primarily driven and sustained by a combination of wind shear and buoyancy forces within the slightly unstable sea-breeze layer. In contrast, the experiment without data assimilation exhibits a higher deficiency in the reproduction of roll characteristics. The findings highlight that CFD modeling, given reliable mesoscale weather and surface conditions, aids in high-precision forecasting of HCRs at unprecedented high resolutions, which may help determine the roll structure, dynamics, and impacts on local weather.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1849-1872
Number of pages24
JournalMonthly Weather Review
Volume143
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Jan 1

Keywords

  • Boundary layer
  • Convection
  • Data assimilation
  • Lidars/Lidar observations
  • Numerical weather prediction/forecasting
  • Sea breezes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science

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