, Volume 63, Issue 3, pp 293-315

Mean circulations of boundary-layer rolls in lake-effect snow storms

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Abstract

An observational study of the roll-average flow fields of boundary-layer rolls is presented. Data used for this purpose were collected by dual-Doppler radar and aircraft measurements taken over southern Lake Michigan during the 1983/1984 field operations of Project Lake Snow. The roll circulations agreed well with findings of past observational, numerical and theoretical studies, with cross-roll components roughly 10% of the convective internal boundary layer (CIBL)-mean wind speeds and weaker vertical components. Along-roll winds were systematically stronger in the rollupdraft regions than in the roll-downdraft regions, probably due to distortion of the along-roll wind profile by the rolls. Comparison of observed wind profiles to those required by roll formation mechanisms found by past numerical and theoretical studies suggested that the observed rolls were formed by the along-roll wind shear (Asai, 1970) or wind shear curvature (Kuettner, 1971) in the lowest 0.2Z i, whereZ i is the height of the top of the CIBL.