Boundary-Layer Meteorology

, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp 267-287

First online:

Geostrophic departure and the functions A and B of Rossby-number similarity theory

  • R. H. ClarkeAffiliated withCSIRO Division of Atmospheric Physics
  • , G. D. HessAffiliated withCSIRO Division of Atmospheric Physics

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A new empirical assessment of the functions A and B of Rossby-number similarity theory is made based on the Wangara data. Variations of these functions with stability, baroclinicity and time of day are discussed. It is found that B is dependent on stability in agreement with older data but contradicting the prediction of Csanady (1972). Coefficients expressing the variation of A and B with the two components of baroclinicity have been derived from the data, and these are claimed to be correct in regard to sign and approximately in regard to magnitude. Longer period time changes, represented by the diurnal cycle, are shown to result in systematic differences in A and B between the case of increasing stability and that of decreasing stability, for the same value of the stability parameter.

The first attempt, to our knowledge, to present the actual functional form of the wind departure components (based on field data) is made. As the surface layer is approached in near-neutral conditions, the departure component in the direction of the surface wind assumes the expected logarithmic form.