, Volume 117, Issue 1-2, pp 47-61,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Heat and moisture budgets from airborne measurements and high-resolution model simulations

Abstract

High-resolution simulations with a mesoscale model are performed to estimate heat and moisture budgets of a well-mixed boundary layer. The model budgets are validated against energy budgets obtained from airborne measurements over heterogeneous terrain in Western Germany. Time rate of change, vertical divergence, and horizontal advection for an atmospheric column of air are estimated. Results show that the time trend of specific humidity exhibits some deficiencies, while the potential temperature trend is matched accurately. Furthermore, the simulated turbulent surface fluxes of sensible and latent heat are comparable to the measured fluxes, leading to similar values of the vertical divergence. The analysis of different horizontal model resolutions exhibits improved surface fluxes with increased resolution, a fact attributed to a reduced aggregation effect. Scale-interaction effects could be identified: while time trends and advection are strongly influenced by mesoscale forcing, the turbulent surface fluxes are mainly controlled by microscale processes.