A large-eddy simulation study of the convective boundary layer over Philadelphia during the 1999 summer NE-OPS campaign

Anantharaman Chandrasekar, C. Russell Philbrick, Richard Clark, Bruce Doddridge, Panos Georgopoulos

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Abstract

This study presents a large-eddy simulation (LES) study of the convective boundary layer on August 1, 1999 over Philadelphia, PA during a summer ozone episode. The study is an evaluation of the Colorado State University's Regional Atmospheric Modeling System Version 4.3 (RAMS4.3) with the LES option using Northeast Oxidant and Particulate Study (NE-OPS) data. Simulations were performed with different imposed sensible heat fluxes at the ground surface. The model was initialized with the atmospheric sounding data collected at Philadelphia at 1230 UTC and model integrations continued till 2130 UTC. The resulting mean profiles of temperature and humidity obtained from the LES model were compared with atmospheric soundings, tethered balloon and aircraft data collected during the NE-OPS 1999 field campaign. Also the model-derived vertical profiles of virtual temperature were compared with NE-OPS Radio Acoustic Sounder System (RASS) data while the humidity profiles were compared with NE-OPS lidar data. The comparison of the radiosonde data with the LES model predictions suggests that the growth of the mixing layer is reasonably well simulated by the model. Overall, the agreement of temperature predictions of the LES model with the radiosonde observations is good. The model appears to underestimate humidity values for the case of higher imposed sensible heat flux. However, the humidity values in the mixing layer agree quite well with radiosonde observations for the case of lower imposed sensible heat flux. The model-predicted temperature and humidity profiles are in reasonable agreement with the tethered balloon data except for some small overestimation of temperature at lower layers and some underestimation of humidity values. However, the humidity profiles as simulated by the model agree quite well with the tethered balloon data for the case of lower imposed sensible heat flux. The model-predicted virtual temperature profile is also in better agreement with RASS data for the case of lower imposed sensible heat flux. The model-predicted temperature profile further agrees quite well with aircraft data for the case of lower imposed heat flux. However, the relative humidity values predicted by the model are lower compared with the aircraft data. The model-predicted humidity profiles are only in partial agreement with the lidar data. The results of this study suggest that the explicitly resolved energetic eddies seem to provide the correct forcing necessary to produce good agreement with observations for the case of an imposed sensible heat flux of 0.1 K m s-1 at the surface.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)305-329
Number of pages25
JournalEnvironmental Fluid Mechanics
Volume3
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology

Keywords

  • Aircraft measurements
  • LES
  • Lidar
  • NE-OPS
  • RAMS
  • RASS
  • Radiosonde
  • Tethered balloon

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