Accessibility navigation

Occurrence of Kelvin-Helmholtz Billows in Sea-breeze Circulations

Plant, R. S. ORCID: 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

Text - Accepted Version
· Please see our End User Agreement before downloading.


It is advisable to refer to the publisher's version if you intend to cite from this work. See Guidance on citing.

To link to this item 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.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:787
Uncontrolled Keywords:Kelvin-Helmholtz billows - Post-frontal oscillations - Sea breeze - Surface observations
Publisher Statement:The original publication is also available at


Downloads per month over past year

University Staff: Request a correction | Centaur Editors: Update this record

Page navigation