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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas