The planetary boundary layer physical processes, the secondary thermal baroclinic circulation and inertial oscillation contribution to diurnal variation of the Etesian winds over the Aegean Sea

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Nicholas G. Prezerakos


Etesian winds constitute an important climatological phenomenon, which does not only moderate the heat during the summer in the Aegean Sea, but provides a source of clean renewable energy as well. Even though several papers have attempted to explain their dynamical and physical characteristics, the respective processes that drive the diurnal variation of the wind speed are not fully understood. The objective of this paper is to identify the processes responsible for diurnal variation with observed maximum wind speed around noon and minimum around midnight. Analytical solutions of a primitive equation set in Eulerian form, after introducing suitable conditions and approximations, reveal an inertial oscillation over the Aegean Sea. Data based on direct observations, ECMWF IFS high resolution analyses and high-resolution simulations with the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model are utilized to find out the type and structure of the planetary boundary layer (PBL) over the Aegean Sea. This PBL appears to be of a marine character and turbulent mostly during the day but less during the night. The direct impact of local and regional thermally-driven circulations is found to be the main cause of the diurnal variation of the observed wind and partly the inertial oscillation. Results from numerical simulations certify these findings. Furthermore, the momentum and Newtonian heating exchanges by the physical processes inside the PBL, where the gradient wind together with smaller scales of atmospheric motions exist, are also necessary for explaining the variability of the Etesian winds.


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