Implementation of a synthetic inflow turbulence generator in idealised WRF v3.6.1 large eddy simulations under neutral atmospheric conditions

Jian Zhong, Xiaoming Cai*, Zheng Tong Xie

*Corresponding author for this work

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A synthetic inflow turbulence generator was implemented in the idealised Weather Research and Forecasting large eddy simulation (WRF-LES v3.6.1) model under neutral atmospheric conditions. This method is based on an exponential correlation function and generates a series of two-dimensional slices of data which are correlated both in space and in time. These data satisfy a spectrum with a near "-5=3"inertial subrange, suggesting its excellent capability for high Reynolds number atmospheric flows. It is more computationally efficient than other synthetic turbulence generation approaches, such as three-dimensional digital filter methods. A WRF-LES simulation with periodic boundary conditions was conducted to provide prior mean profiles of first and second moments of turbulence for the synthetic turbulence generation method, and the results of the periodic case were also used to evaluate the inflow case. The inflow case generated similar turbulence structures to those of the periodic case after a short adjustment distance. The inflow case yielded a mean velocity profile and second-moment profiles that agreed well with those generated using periodic boundary conditions, after a short adjustment distance. For the range of the integral length scales of the inflow turbulence (±40 %), its effect on the mean velocity profiles is negligible, whereas its influence on the second-moment profiles is more visible, in particular for the smallest integral length scales, e.g. those with the friction velocity of less than 4 % error of the reference data at x=H D 7. This implementation enables a WRF-LES simulation of a horizontally inhomogeneous case with non-repeated surface land-use patterns and can be extended so as to conduct a multi-scale seamless nesting simulation from a meso-scale domain with a kilometrescale resolution down to LES domains with metre-scale resolutions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-336
Number of pages14
JournalGeoscientific Model Development
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jan 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information: This research has been supported by the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) (grant no. NE/N003195/1).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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