Modelling study of sea breezes in a complex coastal environment

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Authors

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • University of British Columbia

Abstract

This study investigates a mesoscale modelling of sea breezes blowing from a narrow strait into the lower Fraser valley (LFV), British Columbia, Canada, during the period of 17-20 July, 1985. Without a nudging scheme in the inner grid, the CSU-RAMS model produces satisfactory wind and temperature fields during the daytime. In comparison with observation, the agreement indices for surface wind and temperature during daytime reach about 0.6 and 0.95, respectively, while the agreement indices drop to 0.4 at night. In the vertical, profiles of modelled wind and temperature generally agree with tethersonde data collected on 17 and 19 July. The study demonstrates that in late afternoon, the model does not capture the advection of an elevated warm layer which originated from land surfaces outside of the inner grid. Mixed layer depth (MLD) is calculated from model output of turbulent kinetic energy field. Comparison of MLD results with observation shows that the method generates a reliable MLD during the daytime, and that accurate estimates of MLD near the coast require the correct simulation of wind conditions over the sea. The study has shown that for a complex coast environment like the LFV, a reliable modelling study depends not only on local surface fluxes but also on elevated layers transported from remote land surfaces. This dependence is especially important when local forcings are weak, for example, during late afternoon and at night. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2873-2885
Number of pages13
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Volume34
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2000

Keywords

  • CSU-RAMS, Mesoscale modelling, Mixed layer depth, Sea breezes, The lower Fraser valley