Atmospheric boundary-layer processes, turbulence and land-atmosphere interactions


Atmospheric boundary-layer (ABL) processes and their interactions with the underlying surface are crucial for weather, climate, air-quality and renewable-energy forecasts. The multitude of interacting processes act on a variety of temporal and spatial scales and include atmospheric turbulence, atmosphere-soil-vegetation interactions, gravity waves, boundary-layer interactions with dry and moist convection, mesoscale flows, submeso motions, etc.

Although significant advances have been achieved during the last decades, an appropriate comprehension of ABL processes and their interactions under different conditions is still a challenge in meteorology. Improving this knowledge will help to correctly represent ABL processes in weather and climate models, allowing to provide more accurate numerical weather prediction (NWP) forecasts and climate scenarios.

This session welcomes conceptual, observational and modeling research related to the physical processes that appear in the ABL, including those devoted to study the interactions with the free atmosphere above and with the surface below. Current contributions evaluating existing models and schemes are also welcome, as well as the presentation of new implementation in numerical modelling.

The following topics are especially encouraged to be submitted to the session:

• Theoretical and experimental studies of the turbulence-closure problem with emphasis on very stable stratification and convection, accounting for interactions between the mean flow, turbulence, internal waves and large-scale self-organized structures.

• Boundary-layer clouds (including fog) and marine, cloud-topped boundary layers: physics and parameterization within NWP and climate models and observational studies.

• Orographic effects: form drag, wave drag and flow blocking, gravity waves.

• Challenges on the surface-exchange processes, including soil-vegetation-atmosphere transfers. Flux aggregation in atmospheric boundary layers over heterogeneous terrain.

• Representation of boundary layers and land-surface interaction in atmospheric models.

• Organization of deep convection across differing atmospheric scales.

• Large-eddy simulation and direct numerical simulation of turbulent flows.

• PBL and surface-layer studies using long-term data (climatology), detailed analysis of case studies and field campaigns presentation.

Convener: Gert-Jan Steeneveld | Co-conveners: Bert Holtslag, Carlos Román-Cascón, Nikki Vercauteren
Lightning talks
| Mon, 06 Sep, 09:00–15:30 (CEST)

Lightning talks: Mon, 6 Sep

Chairperson: Gert-Jan Steeneveld
Igor Esau
A prominent scientist, a leader in environmental turbulence and planetary boundary layer research Sergej Zilitinkevich passed away on February 15, 2021.  His scientific  contribution is of a remarkably large scale, and so was his life. In fact, one of his most commonly referred research achievements is now widely known as The Zilitinkevich scale - a length scale of a rotation-stratification turbulent mixing in stably stratified planetary boundary layers. In fact, one of his most significant life achievements can be characterized as organizing large international consortiums to advance the boundary layer research into new territories of non-local turbulence, organized structures, and extreme stratifications. Many of his discoveries are now in textbooks, often cited as classical common knowledge without references. Sergej Zilitinkevich was passionate for truly large-scale international science that combined the best of multidisciplinary approaches and multicultural research schools. In the last decade, he has been leading international efforts to develop an energetically consistent turbulence theory that could be applied to strongly stratified, very-high-Reynolds-number environmental flows. He and collaborators obtained ground-breaking results in the studies of key mechanisms controlling both the stably stratified and convective turbulence. Until present, turbulence in strongly stratified flows such as those found in the free atmosphere and hydrosphere has been parameterized only heuristically; the theoretical and experimental basis behind the computing schemes was rather fragmented. Convective turbulence is still parameterized only heuristically. These and other theoretical advances open opportunities for a novel class of parametrizations for modelling and forecasting of climate, weather, wind-energy potential, and air and water quality. His last project - the Pan-Eurasian experiment - connects more than 100 research groups from 20 countries. It aims to solve interlinked challenges of global warming, atmospheric pollution, biodiversity loss, energy production, and fresh water recognizing the increasing role of the cold climate areas in the context of global change. This presentation commemorates the life and work of our collegue and friend.

How to cite: Esau, I.: The Zilitinkevich Scale in Life and Science, EMS Annual Meeting 2021, online, 6–10 Sep 2021, EMS2021-21, https://doi.org/10.5194/ems2021-21, 2021.

Ivan Bastak Duran, Mirjana Sakradzija, and Juerg Schmidli

An update of the two-energy turbulence scheme is presented. The two-energy scheme is an extension of a Turbulence Kinetic Energy (TKE) scheme following the ideas of Zilitinkevich et al. (2013), but valid for the whole stability range and including the influence of moisture. The additional turbulence prognostic energy is used for the calculation of the stability parameter. The stability parameter is thus not anymore strictly local and has a prognostic character. These characteristics enable the two-energy scheme to model both turbulence and clouds in the atmospheric boundary layer. The original implementation of the two-energy scheme is able to successfully model shallow convection without the need of an additional parameterization for non-local fluxes. However, the performance of the two-energy scheme is worse in stratocumulus cases, where it tends to overestimate the erosion of the stable layers due to over-mixing. We have identified the causes of the over-mixing in the stable layers.  First, the non-local stability parameter does not consider local stratification, which leads to its underestimation and subsequent over-mixing.  Second, the scheme lacks an internal parameter that could distinguish between a shallow convection regime and a stratocumulus regime, thus the scheme can not be calibrated in this respect.  And third, the turbulence length scale formulation is not flexible enough to adjust to all possible regimes in the ABL. To alleviate this problem, we propose several modifications: an update of the stability parameter, a modified computation of the turbulence length scale, and introduction of the influence of entropy potential temperature into the scheme. In addition, the two-energy scheme is coupled to a simplified assumed PDF method in order to achieve a more universal representation of the cloudy regimes. The updated turbulence scheme is evaluated for selected idealized and real cases in the ICON modeling framework.

How to cite: Bastak Duran, I., Sakradzija, M., and Schmidli, J.: The two-energies turbulence scheme coupled to the assumed PDF method, EMS Annual Meeting 2021, online, 6–10 Sep 2021, EMS2021-249, https://doi.org/10.5194/ems2021-249, 2021.

Federica Gucci, Lorenzo Giovannini, Dino Zardi, and Nikki Vercauteren

The broad variety of phenomena occurring on multiple scales under stably stratified conditions and their complex interactions make it difficult to get a full description of the Stable Boundary Layer (SBL). Near-surface turbulence may be intermittent and highly anisotropic even at small scales. By studying the invariants of the anisotropy Reynolds stress tensor, it is possible to analyse the eddy kinetic energy distribution over the three components of the flow. Recent analyses of SBL turbulence data highlighted a prevalence of one-component limiting state of anisotropy. The causes of this particular limiting state are not fully understood, but there is evidence that submeso activity influences turbulence topology. 

This open question motivated the present work, that addresses the issue from the point of view of space dimensionality. In large-scale atmospheric and oceanic dynamics it is well known that turbulent motions may transfer energy both to the large and to the small scales, according to density stratification and rotation. These two properties act as constraints on the flow, giving it a 2D structure, and leading turbulence to be more complex than the homogeneous and isotropic case. For a SBL in low-wind speed conditions, atmospheric stratification might be very strong and we investigate if some of the peculiar characteristics of this regime might be related to a quasi-2D dynamics, with the occurrence of an inverse energy cascade, typical of 2D-like turbulence.

Energy exchanges across larger and smaller scales are studied by analysing the direction of the momentum flux with different methods, including a coarse-graining approach based on Large Eddy Simulation (LES) theory. The SnoHATS dataset was used to this purpose, where two vertically-separated horizontal arrays of sonic anemometers over the Plaine Morte Glacier (Switzerland) allowed the computation of the full three-dimensional velocity gradient. In order to fully characterize the energy exchanges according to different states of turbulence anisotropy, energy conversion processes between eddy kinetic and potential energy have also been considered and analysed at different heights. To this purpose, the dataset FLOSSII was used, providing turbulence measurements up to 30 m above a flat grass surface, often covered by snow. 

Results seem to suggest that turbulent kinetic energy in the SBL is distributed mainly in one component more as a consequence of wave-turbulence interactions than of development of 2D-like turbulence. This gives insights on mechanisms driving turbulence anisotropy that might be used to improve turbulence parameterizations in the SBL.

How to cite: Gucci, F., Giovannini, L., Zardi, D., and Vercauteren, N.: Energy cascade for highly anisotropic turbulence in the Stable Boundary Layer, EMS Annual Meeting 2021, online, 6–10 Sep 2021, EMS2021-167, https://doi.org/10.5194/ems2021-167, 2021.

Xiaoli Larsén, Søren Larsen, Erik Petersen, and Torben Mikkelsen

Two-dimensional (2D) turbulence is not only a basic research topic that needs further investigations, it is also relevant for wind energy applications as today’s wind farm clusters can be as large as thousands of kilometers squared and individual turbines hundreds of meters tall. This challenges the use of classical turbulence models applicable for scales smaller than ~1 h, or as denoted in Högström et al. (2002) the Kolmogoroff inertial subrange, the shear production range, and for ranges the spectral gap region.

This study revisits some key characteristics of 2D turbulence and interpretation of the physics behind it, including general literatures as well as a series of our studies in recent years (Larsén et al. 2013, 2016, 2021). This includes

  • The respective frequency/wave number range and the spectral behaviours for the wind speed: the synoptic scales where the spectral slope is -3, the mesoscale where the spectral slope is typically -5/3, and the gap region. We analyze at what scales the spectra meet and merge, and how the spectra are affected by weather types, seasons and stability.
  • The 2D-isotropy characteristics. We analyze how the longitudinal and lateral velocities correlate across the scales.
  • The application of stationarity. The validity of an assumption of stationary time series decides to how large scales we can perform the analysis of the longitudinal and lateral velocity components, the Taylor frozen hypothesis and 2D-isotropy.

The primary datasets are from several met stations over Denmark and the North Sea region, including both 10-min and sonic measurements from about 10 m up to 240 m.



Högström U, Hunt J, Smedman AS (2002) Theory and measurements for turbulence spectra and variances in the atmospheric neutral surface layer. Boundary-Layer Meteorol 103:101–124

Larsén, X. G., Larsen, S. E., Petersen, E. L., & Mikkelsen, T. K. (2021). A Model for the Spectrum of the Lateral Velocity Component from Mesoscale to Microscale and Its Application to Wind-Direction Variation. Boundary-Layer Meteorology, 178, 415-434. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10546-020-00575-0

Larsén X. Larsen S. and Petersen E. (2016): Full-scale spectrum of the boundary layer wind. Boundary-Layer Meteorology, Vol 159, p 349-371

Larsén X., Vincent C. and Larsen S.E. (2013): Spectral structure of mesoscale winds over the water, Q. J. R. Meteorol. Soc., DOI:10.1002/qj.2003, 139, 685-700.

How to cite: Larsén, X., Larsen, S., Petersen, E., and Mikkelsen, T.: Revisiting two-dimensional turbulence and mesoscale spectra, EMS Annual Meeting 2021, online, 6–10 Sep 2021, EMS2021-179, https://doi.org/10.5194/ems2021-179, 2021.

Tirtha Banerjee and Subharthi Chowdhuri

Persistence is defined as the probability that the local value of a fluctuating field remains at a particular state for a certain amount of time, before being switched to another state. The concept of persistence has been found to have many diverse practical applications, ranging from non-equilibrium statistical mechanics to financial dynamics to distribution of time scales in turbulent flows and many more. In this study, we carry out a detailed analysis of the statistical characteristics of the persistence probability density functions (PDFs) of velocity and temperature fluctuations in the surface layer of a convective boundary layer, using a field-experimental dataset. Our results demonstrate that for the time scales smaller than the integral scales, the persistence PDFs of turbulent velocity and temperature fluctuations display a clear power-law behavior, associated with a self-similar eddy cascading mechanism. Apart from that, we show that the effects of non-Gaussian temperature fluctuations act only at those scales which are larger than the integral scales, where the persistence PDFs deviate from the power-law and drop exponentially.

To advance our knowledge, we also investigate how the turbulent structures associated with velocity and temperature fluctuations interact to produce the emergent flux signatures, a vexing problem but of paramount importance for a plethora of applications, encompassing both engineering and Earth sciences. We discover that the persistence patterns for heat and momentum fluxes are widely different. Moreover, we uncover the power-law scaling and length scales of turbulent motions that cause this behavior. Furthermore, by separating the phases and amplitudes of flux events, we explain the origin and differences between heat and momentum transfer efficiencies in convective turbulence. In summary, our findings provide a new understanding of the connection between flow organization and flux generation mechanisms, two cornerstones of turbulence research.

How to cite: Banerjee, T. and Chowdhuri, S.: Persistence analysis in convective turbulence, EMS Annual Meeting 2021, online, 6–10 Sep 2021, EMS2021-194, https://doi.org/10.5194/ems2021-194, 2021.

Marten Klein, David O. Lignell, and Heiko Schmidt

Turbulence is ubiquitous in atmospheric boundary layers and manifests itself by transient transport processes on a range of scales. This range easily reaches down to less than a meter, which is smaller than the typical height of the first grid cell layer adjacent to the surface in numerical models for weather and climate prediction. In these models, the bulk-surface coupling plays an important role for the evolution of the atmosphere but it is not feasible to fully resolve it in applications. Hence, the overall quality of numerical weather and climate predictions crucially depends on the modeling of subfilter-scale transport processes near the surface. A standing challenge in this regard is the robust but efficient representation of transient and non-Fickian transport such as counter-gradient fluxes that arise from stratification and rotation effects.

We address the issues mentioned above by utilizing a stochastic one-dimensional turbulence (ODT) model. For turbulent boundary layers, ODT aims to resolve the wall-normal transport processes on all relevant scales but only along a single one-dimensional domain (column) that is aligned with the vertical. Molecular diffusion and unbalanced Coriolis forces are directly resolved, whereas effects of turbulent advection and stratification are modeled by stochastically sampled sequence of mapping (eddy) events. Each of these events instantaneously modifies the flow profiles by a permutation of fluid parcels across a selected size interval. The model is of lower order but obeys fundamental conservation principles and Richardson's 1/4 law by construction.

In this study, ODT is applied as stand-alone tool in order to investigate nondimensional control parameter dependencies of the scalar and momentum transport in turbulent channel, neutral, and stably-stratified Ekman flows up to (friction) Reynolds number Re = O(104). We demonstrate that ODT is able to capture the state-space statistics of transient surface fluxes as well as the boundary-layer structure and nondimensional control parameter dependencies of low-order flow statistics.
Very good to reasonable agreement with available reference data is obtained for various observables using fixed model set-ups. We conclude that ODT is an economical turbulence model that is able to not only capture but also predict the wall-normal transport and surface fluxes in multiphysics turbulent boundary layers.

How to cite: Klein, M., Lignell, D. O., and Schmidt, H.: Stochastic modeling of transient surface scalar and momentum fluxes in turbulent boundary layers, EMS Annual Meeting 2021, online, 6–10 Sep 2021, EMS2021-79, https://doi.org/10.5194/ems2021-79, 2021.

Vyacheslav Boyko and Nikki Vercauteren

We present results on the modeling of intermittent turbulence in the nocturnal boundary
layer using a data-driven approach. In high stratification and weak wind conditions, the
bulk shear can be too weak to sustain continuous turbulence and the sporadic submesoscale
motions trigger the turbulence production.
The main idea is to extend a TKE-based, 1.5 order turbulence closure model by in-
troducing a stochastic differential equation (SDE) for the nondimensional correction of the
mixing length. Such a nonstationary SDE model is built upon the traditional surface-layer
scaling functions, which model the effect of the static stability on the surface-layer profiles
using scaling with the Richardson (Ri) number . The nonstationary parameters of the SDE
equation are determined from data with a model-based clustering approach. Furthermore, it
is found that parameters scale with the local gradient Ri number, resulting in a closed-form
nonstationary stability correction depending only on this local gradient Ri number. Benefi-
cial is the interpretation of the noise term of the SDE. This term is interpreted as an effect
of the submesoscale motions on turbulent mixing. Furthermore, the SDE model provides
a conceptual view on intermittent turbulence, whereby in the noise-free limit, the steady-
state solution converges to the traditional functional scaling. Per construction, the SDE
is readily incorporated in a turbulence closure by modifying the definition of the stability
correction. Details will be provided.
We will present a numerical analysis of such a hybrid model for quasi-steady-state so-
lutions with different model settings. Furthermore, we investigate the regime transitions
between weakly and strongly stable flows under intermittent mixing based on the temper-
ature inversion characteristics.

How to cite: Boyko, V. and Vercauteren, N.: Numerical Analysis of a Hybrid Stochastic Turbulence Model for Stable Stratification, EMS Annual Meeting 2021, online, 6–10 Sep 2021, EMS2021-362, https://doi.org/10.5194/ems2021-362, 2021.

Stephanie Reilly, Ivan Bašták Ďurán, and Juerg Schmidli

The most frequently used boundary-layer turbulence parameterization in numerical weather prediction (NWP) and general circulation (GC) models are turbulence kinetic energy (TKE) based schemes. However, these parameterizations suffer from a potential weakness, namely the strong dependence on an ad-hoc quantity, the so-called turbulence length scale. The turbulence length scale is used to parameterize the molecular dissipation of TKE and is required to calculate the turbulence exchange coefficients. Traditional turbulence length scale formulations are designed for scales that are located above the energy production range of the turbulence spectra, hence the transfer of TKE across scales is not considered. However, as computational power increase, there is an increase in the potential for simulating turbulence at resolutions that are within the energy production range of turbulence. This is a gray zone problem. In order to represent turbulence processes accurately at these resolutions, the transfer of TKE across scales needs to be accounted for. For this purpose, a new turbulence length scale diagnostic, that can be used in the development of new turbulence length scale formulations, has been developed.  The new diagnostic uses the budget of TKE and the budgets of scalar variances to estimate the effective dissipation rate, which encapsulate the sum of the molecular dissipation and the cross-scale TKE transfer. The effective dissipation rate is then associated with the new scale-dependent turbulence length scale. Several idealized LES cases, simulated with the MicroHH model, are used to diagnose the turbulence length scale. It has been found that in the gray zone of turbulence the new turbulence length scale strongly depends on the horizontal grid spacing, and that this scale-dependence is also height-dependent. The new diagnostic is used for the evaluation of existing turbulence length scale formulations.

How to cite: Reilly, S., Bašták Ďurán, I., and Schmidli, J.: A Budget-Based Turbulence Length Scale Diagnostic, EMS Annual Meeting 2021, online, 6–10 Sep 2021, EMS2021-270, https://doi.org/10.5194/ems2021-270, 2021.

Léo Rogel, Didier Ricard, Eric Bazile, and Irina Sandu

Because of the technical difficulties of achieving measurements at high altitudes, it is not clear how well turbulent phenomena are represented in the upper levels of current Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) operational models.
Indeed, turbulence in strongly stable conditions near the tropopause is known to be particularly difficult to correctly parameterize. The constraining buoyancy forces on the vertical lead to anisotropic turbulence, potentially inhibiting turbulent production in NWP models.
Partial information for high altitude turbulence events is nonetheless available in the form of in-situ measurements from aircrafts. However, it only allows for qualitative comparisons with model outputs.
This study focuses on a turbulent episode induced by a winter upper-level jet above east Belgium on January 27, 2018, for which in-situ EDR (Eddy Dissipation Rate) reports indicate moderate-or-greater turbulence levels. Numerical simulations are performed with the Météo-France operational model AROME, and with the mesoscale research model MesoNH (Laero/CNRM), at the same horizontal grid resolution (1.3km). These two models also use the eddy-diffusivity turbulence scheme of Cuxart et al (2000), a 1.5 order closure scheme based on a prognostic Turbulent Kinetic Energy (TKE) evolution equation, with a diagnostic computation of the mixing length.
TKE budgets, as well as stability indices and gradient-based quantities (Richardson number, vertical wind shear) are computed from the model outputs, and qualitative comparison with in-situ data is presented. Time evolution of the turbulent event over Belgium is well captured by both models, agreeing with EDR data.
Several sensitivity tests on the vertical resolution, on the mixing length formulation and on the parameters of the TKE equation are then performed. Most notably, the use of an increased vertical resolution near the tropopause greatly enhances the turbulent fluxes in both operational and research models. Secondly, comparison of various expressions of the mixing length shows that the Bougeault and Lacarrere (1989) formulation produces the higher amount of subgrid TKE and turbulent mixing. A decreased turbulent dissipation parameter also significantly increases the amount of subgrid TKE. On the contrary, the use of a 3D turbulence scheme appears to have very limited impacts on the turbulent flow at this kilometer-scale horizontal resolution.
On a second part of this study, results from ongoing Large Eddy Simulations (LES) will be presented. These simulations aim at representing small-scale features of the turbulent flow. They will be used as a reference for the computation of turbulent fluxes at kilometer-scale resolution using a coarse-graining method, allowing for a comparison with the parameterized fluxes from the turbulence scheme. In particular, the dissipation term of the TKE equation will be examined. These results are expected to give insight on the leading turbulent mechanisms for which the current turbulence parameterization can be improved in stable conditions.

How to cite: Rogel, L., Ricard, D., Bazile, E., and Sandu, I.: A Case Study of Clear-Air Turbulence at Upper Levels, EMS Annual Meeting 2021, online, 6–10 Sep 2021, EMS2021-182, https://doi.org/10.5194/ems2021-182, 2021.

Chairperson: Carlos Román-Cascón
Dino Zardi

Sloping terrains of any inclination favour the development, under the daily cycle of day time surface heating and night time cooling, of thermally-driven organised flows, displaying peculiar boundary layer structures, and eventually triggering the development of atmospheric convection.

The ubiquitous occurrence over the Earth of variously tilted surfaces - from gently sloping plains to steep cliffs, or valley and basin sidewalls – makes the understanding of such flows of utmost importance in view of the appropriate forecasting of the associated boundary layer transport processes. Also, they display a highly conceptual relevance, as they represent a prototypal situations for many other thermally driven-flows over complex terrain.   

An appropriate surface-layer scaling for slope wind is derived extending the classical analysis for flat horizontal terrain situations to the cover inclines. In the former, momentum and heat fluxes at the surface are two independent quantities, and vertical profiles of velocity and temperature can only be connected to them by means  of similiarity relationships, as fluxes are nearly invariant with height.

Instead, equations governing slope winds show that the mean wind and temperature profiles are closely connected to the flux structure normal to the slope, as this is not constant. Also, surface values of momentum flux and sensible heat flux are shown to be proportional to each other.

Based on the above relationships, suitable expressions are derived for the slope-normal profiles of velocity and temperature, both in the viscous sublayer and in the fully turbulent surface layer, as well as for the appropriate scaling factors in the two regions.

How to cite: Zardi, D.: A theory for surface-layer scaling of thermally-driven slope flows, EMS Annual Meeting 2021, online, 6–10 Sep 2021, EMS2021-396, https://doi.org/10.5194/ems2021-396, 2021.

Mattia Marchio, Sofia Farina, and Dino Zardi

Diurnal wind systems generated from daytime heating and nighttime cooling of valleys and slopes are a very common feature over mountainous terrains. Despite their frequent occurrence and relevance for a variety of applications, ranging from pollutant transport to convection initiation, slope winds are far from being fully understood and still provide an open research topic.

A well-known steady-state analytical model is the one developed by Prandtl (1942). Then, a first time-dependent analytical model was proposed by F. Defant (1949) and later extended by Zardi and Serafin (2015). These models provide slope-normal profiles of temperature and along-slope wind velocity as a response to a sinusoidal forcing representing the surface temperature. The resulting profiles exhibit sinusoidal oscillations at every distance from the surface, although with different phase lags under different regimes, determined by different combinations of slope angle and stability of the unperturbed ambient atmosphere. As a consequence, they can not explain the observed differences between daytime upslope and nighttime downslope winds in terms of magnitude and height of the peak of wind velocity, as well as the different timing characterising nighttime, daytime, and the two reversal phases.

In the present work, the solutions derived in Zardi and Serafin (2015) are extended to include a more realistic daily-periodic surface forcing taking into account the daily evolution of the surface temperature computed on the basis of a surface energy budget. Incoming solar radiation is represented by means of a Fourier series expansion derived from well-established relationships taking into account latitude, day of the year, slope angle, exposition and other astronomical and atmospheric factors. Based on these expansions, suitable harmonic solutions are derived for the heat flux into the ground and sensible heat flux in the atmosphere, and hence for the daily evolution of slope-normal profiles of along-slope wind velocity and potential temperature.


  • Prandtl L. 1942. Führer durch die Strömungslehre, Chapter 5. Vieweg und Sohn: Braunschweig, Germany. [English translation: Prandtl L. 1952. Mountain and valley winds in stratified air, in Essentials of Fluid Dynamics: 422–425. Hafner Publishing Company: New York, NY]
  • Defant F. 1949. Zur Theorie der Hangwinde, nebst Bemerkungen zur Theorie der Berg- und Talwinde. Arch. Meteorol. Geophys. Bioklimatol. A 1: 421–450
  • Zardi D., Serafin S. 2015. An analytic solution for time‐periodic thermally driven slope flows. Q. J. R. Meteorol. Soc., 141, 1968–1974, https://doi.org/10.1002/qj.2485

How to cite: Marchio, M., Farina, S., and Zardi, D.: Time-dependent solutions for daily-periodic slope flows driven by surface energy budget, EMS Annual Meeting 2021, online, 6–10 Sep 2021, EMS2021-258, https://doi.org/10.5194/ems2021-258, 2021.

Sofia Farina, Francesco Barbano, Silvana Di Sabatino, Mattia Marchio, and Dino Zardi

Thermally driven winds observed in complex terrain are characterized by a daily cycle dominated by two main phases: a diurnal phase in which winds blow upslope (anabatic), and a nocturnal one in which they revert their direction and blow downslope (katabatic). This alternating pattern also implies two transition phases, following sunrise and sunset respectively. 

Here we study the upslope component of the slope wind with a focus on the morning transition from the katabatic to the anabatic flow based on data from the MATERHORN experiment, performed in Salt Lake Desert (Utah) between Fall 2012 and Spring 2013 (Fernando et al, 2015). 

First of all, a criterion for the selection of purely thermally driven slope wind days is proposed and adopted to select five case studies, taken from both the spring and the autumn periods. Then, the analysis allowed the investigation of the driving mechanisms through the connection with the patterns of erosion of the nocturnal inversion in the valley bed at the foot of the slope under analysis. Three main patterns of erosion of the inversion in the particular topography of a gentle and isolated slope are identified: a) erosion due to upward growth of a convective boundary layer, b) erosion due to descent of the inversion top, and c) erosion due to a mix of the two previous mechanisms. The three patterns are then linked to the initiation of the transition by two different and competing mechanisms: mixing from above (top-down dilution) and surface heating from below. Finally, an analytical model for the description of slope circulation (Zardi and Serafin, 2015) has been used to diagnose the time of the transition.

Zardi, D. and S. Serafin, 2015: An analytic solution for daily-periodic thermally-driven slope flow. Quart. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc., 141, 1968–1974. 

Fernando, H. J. S., Pardyjak, E. R., Di Sabatino, S., Chow, F. K., De Wekker, S. F. J., Hoch, S. W, Zsedrovits, T., 2015, The MATERHORN: Unraveling the intricacies of mountain weather. Bulletin Of The American Meteorological Society, 96, 1945-1967. 

How to cite: Farina, S., Barbano, F., Di Sabatino, S., Marchio, M., and Zardi, D.: Characterization of the morning transition from downslope to upslope winds and its connection with the nocturnal inversion breakup at the foot of a gentle slope., EMS Annual Meeting 2021, online, 6–10 Sep 2021, EMS2021-210, https://doi.org/10.5194/ems2021-210, 2021.

Dorita Rostkier-Edelstein, Pavel Kunin, and Pinhas Alpert

The atmospheric dynamics in the Dead Sea (DS) Valley has been studied for decades. However, the studies relied mostly on surface observations and simple coarse-model simulations, insufficient to elucidate the complex flow in the area.  I will present a first study using high resolution (temporal and spatial) and sophisticate both, measurements and modeling tools. We focused on afternoon hours during summer time, when the Mediterranean Sea (MS) breeze penetrates into the DS Valley and sudden changes of wind, temperature and humidity occur in the valley.

An intense observations period , including ground-based remote sensing and in-situ observations, took place during August and November 2014. The measurements were conducted as part of the Virtual Institute DEad SEa Research Venue (DESERVE) project using the KITcube profiling instruments (wind lidars, radiometer and soundings) along with surface Energy Balance Station. These observations enabled analysis of the vertical profile of the atmosphere at one single location at the foothills of Masada, about 1 km west of the DS shore.

High resolution (1.1 km grid size) model simulations were conducted using the WRF model. The simulations enabled analysis of the 3D flow at the DS Valley, information not provided by the observations at a single location. Sensitivity tests were run to determine the best model configuration for this study.

Our study shows that foehn develops in the lee side of the Judean Mountains and DS Valley in the afternoon hours when the MS breeze reaches the area. The characteristics of the MS breeze penetration into the valley and of the foehn (e.g. their depth) and the impact they have on the boundary layer flow in the DS Valley (e.g. the changes in temperature, humidity and wind) are conditioned to the daily synoptic and mesosocale conditions. In the synoptic scale, the depth of the seasonal trough at sea level and the height of inversion layers play a significant role in determining the breeze and foehn characteristics. In the mesoscale, the intensity of the DS breeze and the humidity brought by it determines the outcomes at the time of MS breeze penetration and foehn development. Dynamically, the foehn is associated with a hydraulic jump.

Hypothetical model simulations with modified terrain and with warmer MS surface temperature were conducted to reveal the relative contribution of each of these factors and of their synergism on the observed phenomena. The information provided by the factor separation study can be useful in future climate projections, when a warmer MS is expected.

The forecasting feasibility of foehn and the sudden changes in the DS valley 24 hours in advance using WRF is suggested following the present study. These forecasts can be most valuable for the region affected by pollution penetration from the metropolitan coastal zone.

How to cite: Rostkier-Edelstein, D., Kunin, P., and Alpert, P.: Boundary-layer remote-sensing observations and modeling of foehn in the Dead Sea valley, EMS Annual Meeting 2021, online, 6–10 Sep 2021, EMS2021-51, https://doi.org/10.5194/ems2021-51, 2021.

Juerg Schmidli and Julian Quimbayo-Duarte

In fair weather conditions, thermally driven local winds are dominant feature of the atmospheric boundary layer over complex terrain. They may dominate the wind climatology in deep Alpine valleys resulting in a unique wind climatology for any given valley. The accurate forecasting of these local wind systems is challenging, as they are the result of complex and multi-scale interactions. Even more so, if the aim is the accurate forecasting of the winds from the near-surface to the free atmosphere, which can be considered a prerequisite for the accurate prediction of mountain weather.  This study investigates the skill of the COSMO model at 1.1 km grid spacing in simulating the thermally driven local winds in the Swiss Alps for a month-long period in September 2016. The study combines the evaluation of the surface winds in several Alpine valleys with a more detailed evaluation of the wind evolution throughout the depth of the valley atmosphere for a particular location in the Swiss Rhone valley, the town of Sion. The former is based on a comparison with observations from the operational measurement network of MeteoSwiss, while the latter uses data from a wind profiler stationed at Sion airport. It is found that the near-surface valley wind is generally well represented for the larger Alpine valleys, except for the Rhone valley at Sion. The reasons for the poor skill at Sion are investigated and shown to be attributable to several factors. One of which is a too strong cross-valley flow reaching down to the valley floor and displacing the daytime up-valley wind. A second factor is the particular local valley geometry. It is shown that an increase of the initial soil moisture and the use a finer horizontal grid spacing results in an improved simulation of the diurnal valley wind at Sion.

How to cite: Schmidli, J. and Quimbayo-Duarte, J.: Evaluation of thermally driven local winds in a deep Alpine valley in a high-resolution numerical weather prediction model, EMS Annual Meeting 2021, online, 6–10 Sep 2021, EMS2021-313, https://doi.org/10.5194/ems2021-313, 2021.

Yue Tian, Juerg Schmidli, and Julian Quimbayo-Duarte

Foehn is a downslope wind with a large impact on society due to its gusty nature and the associated high-temperature extremes. It is influenced by and interacts with near-surface processes, such as the cold air pool (CAP), an important phenomenon that is often present in the foehn valleys during the cold season. Therefore, it is challenging to accurately forecast the foehn characteristics, in terms of the onset, strength, and decay as the near-surface evolution is the result of multi-scale interactions between the larger atmosphere and the mountain/local valley topography. From a meso-/micro-scale perspective, this study investigates the skill of the COSMO model (v5.7) at 1.1 km grid spacing in simulating the near-surface foehn evolution for a set of south foehn events, representative of different foehn types around the Alps. The evaluation is based on a comparison to station data from the automatic monitoring network of MeteoSwiss, with a focus on the Rhine Valley. Significant cold and moist biases are found in the model during foehn hours in all the chosen cases. Biases in Foehn duration and spatial extent are also studied. The sensitivity of these biases to several land-surface parameterization choices, e.g., skin layer, bare soil evaporation, and resistance for heat fluxes, are investigated and presented. Simulations for the same foehn events with COSMO at 500 m grid spacing are also evaluated for a better understanding of the model biases. Further studies from the perspective of climatological statistics are needed to establish the relationships between model biases and foehn types.

How to cite: Tian, Y., Schmidli, J., and Quimbayo-Duarte, J.: Evaluation of the near-surface evolution of Foehn events in COSMO-1, EMS Annual Meeting 2021, online, 6–10 Sep 2021, EMS2021-271, https://doi.org/10.5194/ems2021-271, 2021.

Silvia Trini Castelli and Nitsa Haikin

A study investigating the effect of a low-level jet (LLJ) event on the boundary-layer (BL) turbulent structure is presented.  During a radiosounding campaign aimed at investigating the atmospheric circulation in the area of Mount Carmel and Haifa Bay in Israel (35E - 33N), characterized by a complex terrain and a winding and jagged coastline, a couple of consecutive profiles showed a significant LLJ in the morning of January 7, 2010. Since there are no previous measurements or information about frequency or characteristics of the LLJ in this region, the scarcity of observed data does not allow addressing the nature and features of the LLJ. Therefore, its characteristics and development, and also its impact on tracer dispersion, have been explored through model simulations, using RAMS atmospheric model. RAMS was configured with four nested grids with resolution from 32 km to 500 m. A high vertical resolution in the inner grid was achieved with 15 levels below 400 m, using a vertical nesting with a rather novel approach not frequently adopted. RAMS simulated variables were verified against the available observations, providing a reliable reproduction of the LLJ pattern. An elevated inversion characterized the temperature profiles and the LLJ was located at the bottom of such inversion. An analysis of the turbulence kinetic energy (TKE) versus a jet-Richardson number showed that a strongly turbulent weakly-Stable-BL was characterizing the LLJ episode. At the hours of the peak of the LLJ event, 0700 and 0800 UTC (0900 and 1000 LT), two separate maxima, generated below and above the layer affected by the LLJ, appeared in the TKE vertical profiles due to the strong wind shear. Being a morning LLJ, when buoyancy-driven vertical motions started to develop they acted sustaining the turbulence below the LLJ, then decaying at higher elevation opposed also by the strong wind speed at the LLJ level. These and other results are presented and discussed, as a contribution to the understanding of LLJ dynamics and its impact on the boundary layer in complex topography.

How to cite: Trini Castelli, S. and Haikin, N.: The interaction between a low-level jet and the boundary layer in complex topography, EMS Annual Meeting 2021, online, 6–10 Sep 2021, EMS2021-422, https://doi.org/10.5194/ems2021-422, 2021.

Mireia Udina, Joan Bech, Sergi Gonzalez, Alexandre Paci, Laura Trapero, Josep Ramón Miró, and Bernat Codina

The study documents the formation of a rotor underneath the mountain waves generated the 15 January 2017 over the eastern Pyrenees (near the border between France, Spain and Andorra) during the Cerdanya-2017 field campaign. The event was characterized by strong winds, mountain waves and relevant snow accumulation over the Cerdanya valley and the eastern Pyrenees. The evolution and location of the mountain waves and precipitation structure were studied using high temporal resolution data from a UHF wind-profiler and a vertically pointing K-band Doppler radar, separated a few kilometres in horizontal distance.

A mountain wave was detected in the morning and shortened slightly in the afternoon when a transient rotor was formed disconnected from the surface flow (Udina et al. 2020). A strong turbulence zone was identified at the upper edge of the mountain wave, above the rotor, a feature observed in previous studies. The mountain wave and rotor induced circulation was favoured by the valley shape and the second mountain ridge location, in addition to the weak and variable winds, established during the sunset close to the valley surface. In addition, we find decoupling between precipitation processes and mountain wave induced circulations. During the studied event, mountain wave wind circulations and low-level turbulence do not affect neither the snow crystal riming or aggregation along the vertical column nor the surface particle size distribution of the snow. This study illustrates that precipitation profiles and mountain induced circulations may be decoupled which can be very relevant for either ground-based or spaceborne remote sensing of precipitation (Gonzalez et al 2019). This research is supported by CGL2015-65627-C3-1-R, CGL2015- 65627-C3-2-R (MINECO/FEDER), CGL2016-81828-REDT and RTI2018- 098693-B-C32 (AEI/FEDER).


Gonzalez, S., Bech, J., Udina, M., Codina, B., Paci, A., & Trapero, L. (2019). Decoupling between precipitation processes and mountain wave induced circulations observed with a vertically pointing K-band doppler radar. Remote Sensing11(9), 1034.

Udina, M., Bech, J., Gonzalez, S., Soler, M. R., Paci, A., Miró, J. R., Trapero, L., Donier, J.M., Douffet, T., Codina, B., Pineda, N. (2020). Multi-sensor observations of an elevated rotor during a mountain wave event in the Eastern Pyrenees. Atmospheric Research234, 104698.

How to cite: Udina, M., Bech, J., Gonzalez, S., Paci, A., Trapero, L., Miró, J. R., and Codina, B.: Observations of an elevated rotor and precipitation processes decoupled during a mountain wave event in the Eastern Pyrenees (Cerdanya-2017 Field Experiment), EMS Annual Meeting 2021, online, 6–10 Sep 2021, EMS2021-262, https://doi.org/10.5194/ems2021-262, 2021.

Julian Quimbayo-Duarte and Juerg Schmidli

An accurate representation of the momentum budget in numerical models is essential in the quest for reliable weather forecasting, from large scales (climate models) to small scales (numerical weather prediction models, NWP). It is well known that orographic waves play an important role in large-scale circulation. The vertical propagation of such waves is associated with a vertical flux of horizontal momentum, which may be transferred to the mean flow by wave-mean flow interaction and wave-breaking (Sandu et al., 2019). The orography scales inducing such phenomena are often smaller than the model resolution, even for NWP models, leading to the need for parameterisation schemes for orographic drag. Yet, such parameterization in current models is fairly limited (Vosper et al., 2020). The present work aims to contribute to an improved understanding and parameterization of the impact of small-scale orography on the lower atmosphere with a focus on the stable atmospheric boundary layer.

As a first step, an idealized set of experiments has been designed to explore the capabilities of the Icosahedral Nonhydrostatic model in its large eddy simulation mode (ICON-LES, Dipankar et al., 2015) to represent turbulence processes in the stably-stratified atmosphere. Initial experiments testing the model performance over flat terrain (GABLS experiment, Beare et al., 2006), orographic wave generation (shallow bell-shaped topography, Xue et al., 2000) and moderate complex terrain (U-shaped valley, Burns and Chemel 2014) have been conducted. The results demonstrate that ICON-LES adequately represents the boundary layer processes for the investigated cases in comparison to the literature.

In a second step, an idealized set of experiments of atmospheric flow over idealized sinusoidal and multiscale terrain has been designed to study the impact of the orographically-induced gravity waves on the total surface drag and the vertical flux of horizontal momentum. The influence of different atmospheric conditions is assessed by varying the background wind speed and the temperature stratification at the initial time.

How to cite: Quimbayo-Duarte, J. and Schmidli, J.: Progress towards an improved parameterisation of small-scale orographic impacts on the atmospheric boundary layer, EMS Annual Meeting 2021, online, 6–10 Sep 2021, EMS2021-323, https://doi.org/10.5194/ems2021-323, 2021.

Xuelong Chen

The spatial-temporal structure of the Planetary Boundary Layer (PBL) over mountainous areas can be strongly modified by topography. The PBL over the mountainous terrain of the Tibetan Plateau (TP) is more complex than that observed over its flat areas. To date, there have been no detailed analyses which have taken into account the topography effects exerted on PBL growth over the Tibetan Plateau (TP). A clear understanding of the processes involved in the PBL growth and depth over the TP’s mountainous areas is therefore long overdue.The PBL in the Himalayan region of the Tibetan Plateau (TP) is important to the study of interaction between the area’s topography and synoptic circulation.

This study used radiosonde, in-situ measurements, ERA5 reanalysis dataset and numerical model to investigate the vertical structure of the PBL and the land surface energy balance in the Rongbuk Valley on the north of the central Himalaya, and their association with the Westerlies, which control the climate of the Himalaya in winters. Two sunny November days in 2014 with different synoptic conditions in terms of large-scale wind direction and speed were selected to investigate the ways in which large-scale synoptic forcing affected the vertical structure of the PBL, atmospheric stability, surface wind field, and land surface energy fluxes. The results revealed that the valley winds and PBL growth were strongly influenced by the variations of the westerlies. When the synoptic wind direction at the height of the mountain ridges was parallel to the axis of the valley, the downward transmission of the westerlies to the valley floor (DTWTV) was strong and cause high near-surface wind speeds and sensible heat flux value, then produced an extremely deep PBL (9 km above sea level) in the early afternoon of November 23. When the synoptic wind direction at the ridge height intersected the axis of the valley and was weak, the DTWTV was weak, and the PBL became relatively low on November 28. These results demonstrate that the interaction between the topography and synoptic circulation plays a critical role in PBL growth.

How to cite: Chen, X.: Impacts of the Westerlies on Planetary Boundary Layer Growth Over a Valley on the North Side of the Central Himalayas, EMS Annual Meeting 2021, online, 6–10 Sep 2021, EMS2021-435, https://doi.org/10.5194/ems2021-435, 2021.

Chairperson: Nikki Vercauteren
Michael Ek and Bert Holtslag

Land-atmosphere coupling involves the interaction between the land-surface and the overlying atmospheric boundary layer, with effects on and by the free atmosphere above, and then with associated downstream impacts on clouds, convection and precipitation. We focus on the "terrestrial leg" of land-atmosphere coupling, that is, the near-surface land-atmosphere interaction where changing soil moisture affects the surface evapotranspiration. (The "atmospheric leg" of land-atmosphere coupling involves changes in surface fluxes and the effects on the atmospheric boundary layer, with those downstream impacts.) The change in surface evapotranspiration, or evaporative fraction, with changing soil moisture is an indicator of the strength of coupling between the soil/surface and the near-surface atmosphere, where for strong coupling, a given change in soil moisture yields a large change in the evaporative fraction, and for weak coupling, a given change in soil moisture yields a small change in the evaporative fraction. The strength of coupling depends on a number of different conditions and processes, i.e. the nature of the surface-layer turbulence, to what degree the surface is vegetated and by what type of vegetation, what the soil texture is, and how plant transpiration and soil hydraulic and soil thermal processes change with changing soil moisture. We examine this terrestrial leg of land-atmosphere coupling with an analytical development using the Penman-Monteith equation, then evaluate several years of fluxnet data sets from multiple sites to characterize these interactions on the local scale, contrasting different landscapes, e.g. grasslands versus forests, and other surface types. Initial findings show stronger coupling over forests. 

How to cite: Ek, M. and Holtslag, B.: Local Land-Atmosphere Interaction: Exploring the Terrestrial Leg with “Little Omega”, EMS Annual Meeting 2021, online, 6–10 Sep 2021, EMS2021-195, https://doi.org/10.5194/ems2021-195, 2021.

Axel Kleidon, Maik Renner, Annu Panwar, and Sarosh Alam Ghausi

Land-atmosphere interactions are typically evaluated using numerical simulation models of increasingly greater complexity.  But what are the key, major constraints that determine the first-order controls of the land-atmosphere system?  Here, we present an alternative approach that is solely based on energetic and thermodynamic constraints of the coupled land-atmosphere system and show that this approach can reproduce observations at the diurnal scale very well.  The key concept we use is that turbulent heat fluxes are predominantly the result of an atmospheric heat engine that is driven by the heat input from the surface and that operates at the thermodynamic limit of maximum power.  This provides a closure for the magnitude of turbulent fluxes in the surface energy balance.  Interactions enter this approach mainly in two ways: First, the cooling effect of turbulent heat fluxes on surface temperature lowers the engine's efficiency, thereby setting the maximum power limit, and second, by heat storage changes in the lower atmosphere, which represent an entropy term inside the heat engine and alter the thermodynamic limit for power output.  Both effects are, however, well constrained by energy balances, yielding analytical solutions for energy balance partitioning during the day without the need for empirical parameters. The further partitioning into sensible and latent heat fluxes is obtained from the assumption of thermodynamic equilibrium at the surface where heat and moisture is added to the atmosphere (if sufficient soil water is accessible).  We then show that this approach works remarkably well in reproducing FluxNet observations over the diurnal cycle.  What this implies is that these physical constraints determine the first-order dynamics of the land-atmosphere system, enabling us to derive simple, physics-based estimates of climate, the dominant effects of vegetation, and the response of the coupled system to global climate change.

How to cite: Kleidon, A., Renner, M., Panwar, A., and Ghausi, S. A.: Understanding land surface-atmosphere interactions at the diurnal scale from energetic and thermodynamic constraints, EMS Annual Meeting 2021, online, 6–10 Sep 2021, EMS2021-107, https://doi.org/10.5194/ems2021-107, 2021.

Eduard Osipov and Olga Osipova

The surface energy balance (SEB) of a glacier during ablation period describes the physical process of melting and its relationship to climatic fluctuations. Unfortunately, there is little experimental data on physically substantiated processes of melting of continental Siberian glaciers. In this study, we modeled the components of the SEB of a small low altitude continental glacier located in inland Asia (Eastern Siberia, Kodar ridge, 56° 51 'N, 117° 25' E, 2561 m above sea level ). The Kodar glaciers (about 40 small glaciers) have been shrinking since the end of the Little Ice Age and have experienced an accelerated area decline in the 1990s. To study the SEB components we installed two automatic weather stations (AWS) directly on the glacier and its terminal moraine during the two ablation seasons (July–August of 2019 and 2020). Such parameters as meteorological characteristics (air temperature, relative humidity, precipitation, wind speed and direction, atmospheric pressure, temperature of the upper glacier layer) as well as radiation fluxes (short-wave and long-wave radiation) were measured with a 30-minute resolution. Turbulent fluxes were estimated using the bulk aerodynamic approach. Daily ice melting was directly measured using ablation stakes and a thermometric method. As a result, we found that the net radiation was the main source of surface snow/ice melting (84–93% of total energy for melt), followed by sensible heat (5–9%) and latent heat of condensation (3–7%). The simulated ablation is in good agreement with the measured one. Albedo strongly affects the net radiation and demonstrates two clearly distinguished regimes due to the presence or absence of snow cover on the glacier. During the first half of the ablation season (July) albedo decreases almost linearly, and during the second (August) it has low background values with pronounced spikes due to short-term summer snowfalls. The net radiation and melting regime are strongly influenced by summer cloudiness, which reaches 70–80% ​​as a result of the intensification of cyclonic processes over the Kodar region. Heat losses due to long-wave radiation were recorded only in summer of 2019 (–15 W m–2), while in 2020 the net long-wave radiation was slightly above zero (3 W m–2). This is explained by the more significant (10% more) cloud fraction in 2020 over the study area. Thus, almost all heat supplied to the glacial surface spends on melting snow and ice. The influence of solar radiation factors on ice melting indicates the need to take into account long-term trends in the processes of atmospheric circulation (fluctuations of cyclones and anticyclones) when explaining the acceleration in ice area reduction of the Kodar glaciers in 1990s. This study was supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (project No. 19-05-00668).

How to cite: Osipov, E. and Osipova, O.: The surface energy balance of the Sygyktinsky glacier (Kodar ridge, Eastern Siberia) during the ablation periods of 2019 and 2020 and its sensitivity to meteorological conditions, EMS Annual Meeting 2021, online, 6–10 Sep 2021, EMS2021-242, https://doi.org/10.5194/ems2021-242, 2021.

Donato Summa, Fabio Madonna, Noemi Franco, Paolo Di Girolamo, Benedetto De Rosa, Yuanzu Wang, and Marco Rosoldi

The exchange processes between the Earth and the atmosphere play a crucial role in the development of the Planetary Boundary Layer (PBL). Vertical profiles of atmospheric thermodynamic variables, i.e. temperature and humidity, or wind speed, clouds and aerosols can be used as proxy to retrieve the PBL height and other dynamic variables  at different vertical and temporal resolutions. [1].The present work aims to correlate the PBL height variability  with other factors determining or interacting with the PBL, such as the mixing-ratio and CAPE . The study is focused on the mid-latitudes observations ( 30 ° N and 50 ° N). Radiosounding profiles from the Integrated Global Radiosounding Archive (IGRA) are used to estimate the PBL height, while the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) Re-Analysis v5 (ERA5) and the GCOS Reference Upper-Air Network (GRUAN) Lindenberg station radiosounding data are used as intercomparison datasets for the study uncertainties in the trend analysis. [2][3][4].

The results of these comparisons will be summarized and discussed at the conference.


[1] Summa, D.; Di Girolamo, P.; Stelitano, D.; Cacciani, M. Characterization of the planetary boundary layer height and structure by Raman lidar: Comparison of different approaches. Atmos. Meas. Tech. 2013, 6, 3515–3525.

[2] Madonna F., Summa D., Di Girolamo P., Marra F. ,Wang Y. and Rosoldi  M. Assessment of Trends and Uncertainties in the Atmospheric Boundary Layer Height Estimated Using Radiosounding Observations over Europe Atmosphere 2021, 12, 301. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos12030301.

[3] Sy, S.; Madonna, F.; Rosoldi, M.; Tramutola, E.; Gagliardi, S.; Proto, M.; Pappalardo, G. Sensitivity of trends to estimation methods and quantification of subsampling effects in global radiosounding temperature and humidity time series. Int. J. Climatol. 2020, 41.

[4] Seidel, D.J.; Ao, C.O.; Li, K. Estimating climatological planetary boundary layer heights from radiosonde observations: Comparison of methods and uncertainty analysis. J. Geophys. Res. Space Phys. 2010, 115, 16113.

How to cite: Summa, D., Madonna, F., Franco, N., Di Girolamo, P., De Rosa, B., Wang, Y., and Rosoldi, M.: Boundary Layer Height Estimated and dynamic parameter comparison  using Radiosounding Observations around globe at mid-latitude region., EMS Annual Meeting 2021, online, 6–10 Sep 2021, EMS2021-24, https://doi.org/10.5194/ems2021-24, 2021.

Carlos Yagüe, Carlos Román-Cascón, Pablo Ortiz, Mariano Sastre, Gregorio Maqueda, Encarna Serrano, Begoña Artiñano, Francisco Javier Gómez-Moreno, Elías Díaz-Ramiro, Elisabeth Alonso, Javier Fernández, Rafael Borge, Adolfo Narros, Jose María Cordero, Ana M. García, and Andrés Núñez

Several urban field campaigns have been carried out in the city of Madrid (Spain) during the years 2020 and 2021 in the frame of the AIRTEC-CM (*) research project (Urban Air Quality and Climate Change Integral Assessment). The analysis of the relation between the turbulence measured close to the surface and pollution concentration (e.g., particle matter of different sizes, NOx, etc.) is a key aspect to achieve the different objectives of the project. In this context, we present some preliminary analyses of the turbulence data measured from sonic anemometers located at different emplacements. We focus on the turbulence differences among two instruments nearby located but at different heights above the street level: 1) at the top of a 22 m-height building, and 2) at the top of a shorter building of 2.5 m of height. Typical turbulent parameters (turbulent kinetic energy (TKE), friction velocity (u*) and sensible heat flux (SH)) are analysed for both sonic anemometers and their differences are statistically compared. An investigation of the main temporal scales involved in the atmospheric diffusion is also performed using the Multi-Resolution Flux Decomposition technique (MRFD), applied over a relatively long period that includes different atmospheric conditions in February 2020. The information obtained from this analysis will be related to the pollution concentration measured in the city, trying to determine the importance of the near-surface turbulence (and the corresponding scales of the main eddies found) in the pollutant’s levels.


(*) AIRTEC-CM research project (S2018/EMT-4329) is funded by The Regional Government of Madrid (Spain).

How to cite: Yagüe, C., Román-Cascón, C., Ortiz, P., Sastre, M., Maqueda, G., Serrano, E., Artiñano, B., Gómez-Moreno, F. J., Díaz-Ramiro, E., Alonso, E., Fernández, J., Borge, R., Narros, A., Cordero, J. M., García, A. M., and Núñez, A.: Multi-scale analysis of turbulence data from AIRTEC-CM urban field campaigns in Madrid, EMS Annual Meeting 2021, online, 6–10 Sep 2021, EMS2021-381, https://doi.org/10.5194/ems2021-381, 2021.

Graziano Coppa, Annarosa Quarello, Gert-Jan Steeneveld, Nebojsa Jandric, and Andrea Merlone

With the purpose of revising World Meteorological Organization’s Commission for Instruments and Methods of Observation (WMO/CIMO) Guide #8 on weather stations siting, and in the framework of EMPIR project ENV58 MeteoMet 2, an experiment to evaluate metrologically the maximum influence of a paved road on 2-m air temperature measurements (“road siting effect”) has been designed, installed and run in Italy. It consists of a 100-m long array of seven measurement stations, at increasing distances from a local road, equipped with shielded Pt100 thermometers and ancillary sensors (hygrometers, anemometers, solar radiation meters). Data coming from 1 year of observations, has been analysed for daily climatological metrics, finding that the road mostly effects minimum temperatures, with average values of ~ 0.30±0.18 °C at a distance of 1 m; then, in order to quantify the instrumental effect on the measurement, data was filtered by applying a Generalized Additive Model, selecting only times when the effect is more intense (during nights, in presence of low winds coming from the road), and the road siting effect has been calculated by modelling the maximum temperature differences by using Extreme Values Analysis. The 1-year return value on 10-min measurements is 1.22±0.30 °C at 1 m from the road, with a gradual decline (~ 0.1 °C/m), while an extrapolation to 100-year return level gives a value of 1.71±0.79 °C. Analysis also show the possibility of calculating an asymptotic upper limit to these values, providing there are enough data to lower the associated uncertainties. These results, published in the International Journal of Climatology (Coppa et al 2021, https://doi.org/10.1002/joc.7044) is a first step towards a redefinition of the weather station classification scheme of WMO/CIMO Guide #8, together with building and tree effects experiments which have been run in parallel with the road siting experiment here presented and which will be presented elsewhere. Raw data is also available at Zenodo.org (Coppa et al 2020, https://doi.org/10.5281/ZENODO.4300299)

How to cite: Coppa, G., Quarello, A., Steeneveld, G.-J., Jandric, N., and Merlone, A.: Road siting effect metrological evaluation on near-surface air temperatures, EMS Annual Meeting 2021, online, 6–10 Sep 2021, EMS2021-149, https://doi.org/10.5194/ems2021-149, 2021.

Krzysztof Fortuniak, Włodzimierz Pawlak, and Mariusz Siedlecki

Wetlands, even if cover a relatively small fraction of Earth’s surface, play an important role in global carbon cycle. They are the main terrestrial source of methane (CH4), but due to anaerobic conditions they accumulate significant part of captured in photosynthesis carbon dioxide (CO2). Due to the progressive climate change these ecosystems are exposed to different climate-inducted extreme events. One of them are fires that can significantly affect the carbon-storage potential of the wetlands.

In this study we analyze the impact of a great fire on one of the largest mid-European wetlands in Biebrza Valley (northeastern Poland) on the CO2 net ecosystem exchange (NEE). Over 5,500 ha of landscape of the Biebrza National Park burned down during this event in April 20-25, 2020. In the north-east edge of the core of this fire, there was an eddy-covariance measurement site, where greenhouse gas fluxes (CO2, CH4, H2O) had been continuously recorded since 2013. The measurement system suffered to some extent, but flux measurements were resumed after repair works in approximately 2 weeks. Almost the entire source area of eddy-covariance system was affected by the fire. Thus, post-fire measurements show the dynamics of NEE for an ecosystem recovering from a fire.

In the flux measurements period (2013-2020) the studied ecosystem was affected not only by the above fire event but also by severe droughts in 2015 and 2018-2020. In consequence in non-fire years the annual totals of CO2 flux followed the mean ground water table level (WTL) and spanned from -990 gCO2∙m-2∙yr-1 (CO2 sink) in the wettest year to +1020 gCO2∙m-2∙yr-1 (CO2 source) in the driest year 2019. However, even taking into account the influence of WTL and temperature fluctuation we observed clear impact of the spring fire on CO2 exchange. Shortly after the fire, in May, the wetland was in average a source of CO2 (positive monthly total of NEE), which had not happened before even in the driest years. However, already in the second half of May, the absorption of CO2 began to predominate over the emissions. From the mid-June to the end of July we observed very intensive growth of plant cover and exceptionally strong absorption of CO2, much higher than in other years with similar thermo-hydrological conditions. Consequently, the total CO2 flux in the post-fire period (May-December) was negative, while in remaining dry years the strong emission of CO2 was observed for the same part of year.  

Acknowledgements: Funding for this research was provided by the National Science Centre, Poland under project UMO-2020/37/B/ST10/01219. The authors thank the authorities of the Biebrza National Park for allowing the continuous measurements in the area of the Park.

How to cite: Fortuniak, K., Pawlak, W., and Siedlecki, M.: Dynamics of net CO2 exchange in the wetland ecosystem recovering from a fire, EMS Annual Meeting 2021, online, 6–10 Sep 2021, EMS2021-115, https://doi.org/10.5194/ems2021-115, 2021.

Sven-Erik Gryning, Ekaterina Batchvarova, Rogier Floors, Christoph Münkel, Henrik Skov, and Lise Lotte Sørensen

Knowledge and understanding of Arctic cloud properties is important for climate predictions and weather forecasts but limited because of scarcity of observational data on Arctic clouds in general and especially during the dark winter season. Prediction of clouds is known to be a major challenge in numerical weather forecasts and climate models  and the shortage of observations for use in data-assimilation in the Arctic constitutes a further difficulty.

We present results from an analyses of cloud cover based on profiles of the attenuated backscatter coefficient from an 8-year long data series (July 2011 – April 2019). The observations are carried out in the high Arctic by a ceilometer with a maximum range setting of 7.7 km from the Villum Research Station at Station Nord, Greenland. Results show that the hourly cloud cover turned out to follow a U-shaped rather than Gaussian-like distribution.

Annual and seasonal cloud cover variation is illustrated. The cloud cover is larger during the autumn and winter as compared to summer and spring. The cloud cover exhibits a substantial variation from year to year without a clear trend. The cloud cover during spring is low and decreasing between 2012 and 2017. The cloud cover during the autumn of 2016 is lowest compared to the other years.

The observed cloud cover is compared to the cloud cover provided in the ERA5 reanalysis data-set. The cloud cover for low clouds and medium clouds are combined to represent a total height of 6 km. Both the observed and modelled cloud cover is larger during winter as compared to summer-time cloud cover. The measured reduction in the cloud cover for the autumn of 2016 is present in the reanalysis data as well but the measured low cloud cover during spring is not apparent in the reanalysis data.

The ability of the ERA-5 reanalysis data to predict the observed cloud cover was investigated. Because the cloud cover distribution is U-shaped rather than of a Gaussian nature, standard metrics are not applicable. We apply a generalized skill score that is developed for contingency tables or joint histograms. Three skill scores were calculated. It was found that for all three methods, skills for the predictability of the cloud cover by the ERA5 modelling is better for winter than summer and is poor during the spring.

How to cite: Gryning, S.-E., Batchvarova, E., Floors, R., Münkel, C., Skov, H., and Sørensen, L. L.: Comparison of ERA-5 reanalysis and observed cloud cover in the high Arctic, EMS Annual Meeting 2021, online, 6–10 Sep 2021, EMS2021-276, https://doi.org/10.5194/ems2021-276, 2021.

Gabriella Lükő, Péter Torma, Tamás Weidinger, Tamás Krámer, Zeljko Vecenaj, Branko Grisogono, and István Lázár

An internal boundary layer (IBL) may develop above lakes due to surface roughness change. The water surface has significantly less resistance to wind flow compared to the aerodynamically rough land surface. As a result, the wind speed increases along the fetch in the IBL over the lake surface. Consequently, the wind shear stress, which is the main driving force of waves and currents in lakes, also varies along the fetch. Measurements were carried out for six weeks in 2018 within a Croatian-Hungarian observational campaign in Lake Balaton in order to explore the IBL characteristics and establish a simple but reliable IBL model that can reproduce wind shear stress variability over the lake. One wind measurement station was installed on land and three over the lake along the fetch of the prevailing wind direction. On the landside, the wind profile was observed by a sodar from which characteristic land surface roughness lengths were derived by logarithmic profile fitting. On the waterside, momentum fluxes were measured with eddy-covariance (EC) technique at fetches of ~0.1, ~3.5, and ~6 km. To describe the water surface roughness dynamics, waves were simultaneously recorded with an underwater acoustic surface tracking at the middle station. An analytic IBL model is fitted to the measured wind speed and stress data employing wind speed classes. In the model, the wind stress development is dynamically coupled with the wave state by a wave age dependent roughness length function which is valid for highly fetch limited conditions and very young wave ages of ~2-15. The model is able to quantitatively reproduce wind speed, wind stress, and wave state development over the lake surface based on land observation of wind speed if the land roughness length is also known. Based on our model and measurements, we found a considerable spatial variability of momentum flux due to the change of wave state and wind speed along the fetch. The variation of momentum flux also influences the evolving sensible heat flux, which was also compared to the EC measurements.

How to cite: Lükő, G., Torma, P., Weidinger, T., Krámer, T., Vecenaj, Z., Grisogono, B., and Lázár, I.: Internal boundary layer development over lake surface in case of very young waves, EMS Annual Meeting 2021, online, 6–10 Sep 2021, EMS2021-155, https://doi.org/10.5194/ems2021-155, 2021.

Jou Ping Hou and Mong-Ling Chiao

Atmospheric duct is a local inversion phenomenon that occurs in the lower atmosphere by the sea-air interaction. When it happens, electromagnetic waves are often affected by atmospheric refraction, resulting in deviations in the propagation path, and affects the effectiveness of communications and radar equipment. Atmospheric ducts often appear on the ocean in East Asia, especially the evaporation ducts in the low altitude. Evaporation ducts, which are caused by a rapid decrease in the refractive index of the lower atmosphere, are known to trap radio waves between the evaporation duct layer and the sea surface, and it exist over large bodies of water such as a sea or ocean, offers the possibility of long-range communication link because of a high percentage of occurrence with acceptable average duct height which allows trapping of radio wave propagation, primarily in the tropical regions of the world.

This study analyzes the evaporation duct height distribution that calculated by the WRF and the Paulus-Jeske evaporation duct model under two different weather patterns in 2017, and uses the high-resolution sounding data of the Dongsha Island, Taiping Island and R.V. Ocean Research I in the 2017 South China Sea Two-Island Monsoon experiment ( SCSTIMX ),and it was found that the results of the Paulus-Jeske evaporation duct model were lower than the results of the sounding data, indicating the Paulus-Jeske evaporation duct model is not applicable in the South China Sea atmosphere and walrus environment; in addition, after correcting the important parameters of the Paulus-Jeske evaporation duct model according to the characteristics of the South China Sea environment, the accuracy of the results can be greatly improved.

How to cite: Hou, J. P. and Chiao, M.-L.: Statistical Analysis and Case Study of the Evaporation Duct over South China Sea, EMS Annual Meeting 2021, online, 6–10 Sep 2021, EMS2021-16, https://doi.org/10.5194/ems2021-16, 2021.


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