The Impact of Three-Dimensional Effects on the Simulation of Turbulence Kinetic Energy in a Major Alpine Valley

Brigitta Goger*, Mathias W. Rotach, Alexander Gohm, Oliver Fuhrer, Ivana Stiperski, A.A.M. Holtslag

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The correct simulation of the atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) is crucial for reliable weather forecasts in truly complex terrain. However, common assumptions for model parametrizations are only valid for horizontally homogeneous and flat terrain. Here, we evaluate the turbulence parametrization of the numerical weather prediction model COSMO with a horizontal grid spacing of Δx=1.1km
Δx=1.1km
for the Inn Valley, Austria. The long-term, high-resolution turbulence measurements of the i-Box measurement sites provide a useful data pool of the ABL structure in the valley and on slopes. We focus on days and nights when ABL processes dominate and a thermally-driven circulation is present. Simulations are performed for case studies with both a one-dimensional turbulence parametrization, which only considers the vertical turbulent exchange, and a hybrid turbulence parametrization, also including horizontal shear production and advection in the budget of turbulence kinetic energy (TKE). We find a general underestimation of TKE by the model with the one-dimensional turbulence parametrization. In the simulations with the hybrid turbulence parametrization, the modelled TKE has a more realistic structure, especially in situations when the TKE production is dominated by shear related to the afternoon up-valley flow, and during nights, when a stable ABL is present. The model performance also improves for stations on the slopes. An estimation of the horizontal shear production from the observation network suggests that three-dimensional effects are a relevant part of TKE production in the valley.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-27
JournalBoundary-Layer Meteorology
Volume168
Issue number1
Early online date23 Feb 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018

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