Occurrence of Kelvin-Helmholtz Billows in Sea-breeze Circulations
Plant, R. S. and Keith, G.J. (2007) Occurrence of Kelvin-Helmholtz Billows in Sea-breeze Circulations. Boundary-Layer Meteorology, 122 (1). pp. 1-15. ISSN 0006-8314
To link to this article DOI: 10.1007/s10546-006-9089-x
Centred at the interface between the sea-breeze and the return flow aloft, Kelvin-Helmholtz billows (KHB) are an important feature of the turbulent structure of some sea-breeze circulations (SBCs). In other SBCs, there are no prominent KHBs observed. Factors governing the appearance of billows are determined from a database of 139 sea breezes, constructed from two years of summertime surface observations at a site on the south coast of England. Post-frontal oscillations occur in the surface data for some SBCs and are interpreted as indicating possible KHBs aloft. The SBCs are formed under a wide range of synoptic conditions, enabling various measures of possible billow occurrence to be related to properties of the large-scale, ambient flow. Consistent with laboratory experiments of density currents, KHBs are suppressed for propagation into a head wind and enhanced with a tail wind. They are also found to be enhanced for stronger ambient wind speeds, while large-scale coast-parallel flow is effective in suppressing the billows.
Alpert P, Rabinovich-Hadar M (2003) Pre- and post-sea-breeze frontal lines—A Meso-γ-scale analysis over South Israel. J Atmos Sci 60:2994–3008 Atkins NT, Wakimoto RM, Weckerth TM (1995) Observations of the sea-breeze front during CaPE. 2. Dual-Doppler and aircraft analysis. Mon Wea Rev 123:1374–1393 Atkinson BW (1981) Mesoscale atmospheric circulations. Academic Press, London, 495 pp Britter RE, Simpson JE (1978) Experiments on the dynamics of a gravity current head. J Fluid Mech 88:223–240 Browning KA (1971) Structure of the atmosphere in the vicinity of large-amplitude Kelvin-Helmholtz billows. Quart J Roy Meteorol Soc 97:283–299 Buckley RL, Kurzeja RJ (1997a) An observational and numerical study of the nocturnal sea-breeze. Part I: structure and circulation. J Appl Meteorol 36:1577–1598 Buckley RL, Kurzeja RJ (1997b) An observational and numerical study of the nocturnal sea-breeze. Part II: chemical transport. J Appl Meteorol 36:1599–1619 Chiba O (1993) The turbulent characteristics in the lowest part of the sea-breeze front in the atmospheric surface layer. Boundary-Layer Meteorol 65:181–195 Donn WL, Miltic PL, Brilliant RL (1956) Gravity waves and the tropical sea-breeze. J Meteorol 13:356–361 Droegemeier KK, Wilhelmson RE (1987) Numerical simulation of thunderstorm outflow dynamics. Part 1: outflow sensitivity experiments and turbulence dynamics. J Atmos Sci 44:1180–1210 Finkele K, Hacker JM, Kraus H, Byron-Scott RAD (1995) A complete sea-breeze circulation cell derived from aircraft observations. Boundary-Layer Meteorol 73:299–317 Fovell RG, Dailey PS (2001) Numerical simulation of the interaction between the sea-breeze front and horizontal convective rolls. Part II: alongshore ambient flow. Mon Wea Rev 129:2057–2072 Galvin J, Dominy P (2003) Weather Image—Sea-breezes. Weather 59:28 Hadi TW, Tsuda T, Hashiguchi H, Fukao SR (2000) Tropical sea-breeze circulation and related atmospheric phenomena observed with L-band boundary layer radar in Indonesia. J Meteorol Soc Japan 78:123–140 Hallworth MA, Huppert HE, Phillips JC, Sparks SJ (1996) Entrainment into two dimensional and axisymmetric turbulent gravity currents. J Fluid Mech 308:289–311 Keith GJ (2004) An analysis of sea breezes on the south coast of England and evidence of pre- and post-frontal waves at the surface. Master’s thesis, Department of Meteorology, University of Reading, 74 pp Lapworth A (2000) Observations of atmospheric density currents using a tethered balloon-borne turbulence probe system. Quart J Roy Meteorol Soc 126:2811–2850 Linden PF, Simpson JE (1986) Gravity-driven flows in a turbulent fluid. J Fluid Mech 172:481–497 Merrill JT (1977) Observational and theoretical study of shear instability in the airflow near the ground. J Atmos Sci 34:911–921 Miller STK, Keim BD, Talbot RW, Mao HA (2003) Sea breeze: structure, forecasting, and impacts. Rev Geophys 41(3):1011 Monti P, Fernando HJS, Princevac M, Chan WC, Kowalewski TA, Pardyjak ER (2002) Observations of flow and turbulence in the nocturnal boundary layer over a slope. J Atmos Sci 59:2513–2534 Mueller CK, Carbone RE (1987) Dynamics of a thunderstorm outflow. J Atmos Sci 44:1879–1898 Nakane H, Sasano Y (1986) Structure of a sea-breeze front revealed by scanning lidar observation. Soc Japan 64:789–792 Nielsen JW (1992) In-situ observations of Kelvin-Helmholtz waves along a frontal inversion. J Atmos Sci 49:369–386 Rao PA, Fuelberg HE (2000) An investigation of convection behind the Cape Canaveral sea-breeze front. Mon Wea Rev 128:3437–3458 Rao PA, Fuelberg HE, Droegemeier KK (1999) High-resolution modelling of the Cape Canaveral land-water circulations and associated features. Mon Wea Rev 127:1808–1821 Reible DD, Simpson JE, Linden PF (1993) The sea-breeze and gravity-current frontogenesis. Quart J Roy Meteorol Soc 119:1–16 Sha W, Kawamura T, Ueda H (1991) Numerical study on sea/land breezes as a gravity current: Kelvin-Helmholtz billows and inland penetration of the sea-breeze front. J Atmos Sci 48:1649–1665 Sha W, Kawamura T, Ueda H (1993) A numerical study of nocturnal sea-breezes—Prefrontal gravity-waves in the compensating flow and inland penetration of the sea-breeze cut-off vortex. J Atmos Sci 50:1076–1088 Simpson JE (1969) A comparison between laboratory and atmospheric density currents. Quart J Roy Meteorol Soc 95:758–765 Simpson JE (1982) Gravity currents in the laboratory, atmosphere and ocean. Ann Rev Fluid Mech 14:213–234 Simpson JE (1994) Sea breeze and local winds. Cambridge University Press, 234 pp Simpson JE, Britter RE (1980) A laboratory model of an atmospheric mesofront. Quart J Roy Meteorol Soc 106:485–500 Smyth WD (2004) Kelvin-Helmholtz billow evolution from a localized source. Quart J Roy Meteorol Soc 130:2753–2766 Strang EJ, Fernando HJS (2001) Entrainment and mixing in stratified shear flows. J Fluid Mech 428:349–386 Watts A (1965) Wind and sailing boats: the structure and behaviour of the wind as it affects sailing craft. Adlard Coles, London, 224 pp Wood R, Stromberg IM, Jonas PR (1999) Aircraft observations of sea-breeze frontal structure. Quart J Roy Meteorol Soc 125:1959–1995