Boundary Layer, Urban Meteorology and Land-Surface Processes

Urban heat island intensity and nocturnal ozone concentrations in the “upside-down” boundary layer

Xiaoming Hu

Center for Analysis and Prediction of Storms, University of Oklahoma

08 February 2013, 2:00 PM

National Weather Center, Room 5930
120 David L. Boren Blvd.
University of Oklahoma
Norman, OK

In a “traditional” boundary layer (e.g., the daytime thermally driven convective boundary layer), turbulence is generated at the surface and transported upward. In contrast, a different type of boundary layer has been identified, in which turbulence is generated from a source aloft and transported downward. The latter type of boundary layer has been referred to as the “upside-down” boundary layer. The “upside-down” boundary layer can form under certain circumstances, e.g., in the presence of strong low-level jets (LLJs) and clouds. While our understanding and capability to simulate the “traditional” boundary layer has progressed significantly, additional efforts are still needed to investigate the “upside-down” boundary layer. The vertical mixing in the “upside-down” boundary layer and its impacts on urban heat island development (UHI) and mixing of O3 was investigated recently. The main conclusions include: 1, in an “upside-down” boundary layer, the residual layer may not be a reservoir of pollutants (e.g., O3); 2, LLJs play important roles in modulating UHI intensity; 3, Clouds play important roles in modulating boundary layer structure/stability, thus likely affecting UHI and O3.

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