Characteristics of the atmospheric boundary layer for coastal and inland locations around the Gulf of Mexico

A. BIROL KARA, JAMES B. ELSNER

Abstract

This paper examines aspects of the atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) for several U. S. coastal and inland locations around the Gulf of Mexico. Simulations are performed using the Oregon State University (OSU) planetary boundary layer model under a Gulf of Mexico return-flow event. For the model analyses, the ABL heights are obtained using soil moisture values from the Eta model. The ABL heights obtained from these 24-hr forecasts are then compared with other standard formulations. It is shown poor forecasts of the ABL height in the model under very stable conditions can be prevented by using an interpolation formula. Results confirm that friction velocity in the boundary layer along the Gulf coast is small. A strong relationship between friction velocity and Monin-Obukhov length at coastal locations is likely due to surface fluxes with relatively unimportant heat flux. At coastal locations of Florida and Texas, mechanical turbulence causes large temperature structure parameter at the surface since wind speed is usually calm in the model forecasts.

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