Evaluating Mesoscale Simulations of the Coastal Flow Using Lidar Measurements

Rogier Ralph Floors*, Andrea N. Hahmann, Alfredo Pena Diaz

*Corresponding author for this work

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    The atmospheric flow in the coastal zone is investigated using lidar and mast measurements and model simulations. Novel dual-Doppler scanning lidars were used to investigate the flow over a 7 km transect across the coast, and vertically profiling lidars were used to study the vertical wind profile at offshore and onshore positions. The Weather, Research and Forecasting model is set up in 12 different configurations using 2 planetary boundary layer schemes, 3 horizontal grid spacings and varied sources of land use, and initial and lower boundary conditions. All model simulations describe the observed mean wind profile well at different onshore and offshore locations from the surface up to 500 m. The simulated mean horizontal wind speed gradient across the shoreline is close to that observed, although all simulations show wind speeds that are slightly higher than those observed. Inland at the lowest observed height, the model has the largest deviations compared to the observations. Taylor diagrams show that using ERA-Interim data as boundary conditions improves the model skill scores. Simulations with 0.5 and 1 km horizontal grid spacing show poorer model performance compared to those with a 2 km spacing, partially because smaller resolved wave lengths degrade standard error metrics. Modeled and observed velocity spectra were compared and showed that simulations with the finest horizontal grid spacing resolved more high-frequency atmospheric motion.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
    Issue number5
    Pages (from-to)2718-2736
    Number of pages19
    Publication statusPublished - 2018

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    ©2018. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.


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