Advertisement

Climate Dynamics

, Volume 29, Issue 2–3, pp 277–292 | Cite as

Dynamical controls on the diurnal cycle of temperature in complex topography

  • Mimi Hughes
  • Alex Hall
  • Robert G. Fovell
Article

Abstract

We examine the climatological diurnal cycle of surface air temperature in a 6 km resolution atmospheric simulation of Southern California from 1995 to the present. We find its amplitude and phase both have significant geographical structure. This is most likely due to diurnally-varying flows back and forth across the coastline and elevation isolines resulting from the large daily warming and cooling over land. Because the region’s atmosphere is generally stably stratified, these flow patterns result in air of lower (higher) potential temperature being advected upslope (downslope) during daytime (nighttime). This suppresses the temperature diurnal cycle amplitude at mountaintops where diurnal flows converge (diverge) during the day (night). The nighttime land breeze also advects air of higher potential temperature downslope toward the coast. This raises minimum temperatures in land areas adjacent to the coast in a manner analogous to the daytime suppression of maximum temperature by the cool sea breeze in these same areas. Because stratification is greater in the coastal zone than in the desert interior, these thermal effects of the diurnal winds are not uniform, generating spatial structures in the phase and shape of the temperature diurnal cycle as well as its amplitude. We confirm that the simulated characteristics of the temperature diurnal cycle as well as those of the associated diurnal winds are also found in a network of 30 observation stations in the region. This gives confidence in the simulation’s realism and our study’s findings. Diurnal flows are probably mainly responsible for the geographical structures in the temperature diurnal cycle in other regions of significant topography and surface heterogeneity, their importance depending partly on the degree of atmospheric stratification.

Keywords

Diurnal Cycle Empirical Orthogonal Function Analysis Downslope Flow Diurnal Wind Associate Time Series 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

Mimi Hughes is supported by an NSF graduate student fellowship and NSF ATM-0135136, which also supports Alex Hall. Robert Fovell is supported by NSF ATM-0139284. Opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect NSF views.

References

  1. Aires F, Prigent C, Rossow WB (2004) Temporal interpolation of global surface skin temperature diurnal cycle over land under clear and cloudy conditions. J Geophys Res 109: doi:10.1029/2003JD003527
  2. Atkins NT, Wakimoto RM (1997) Influence of the synoptic-scale flow on sea breezes observed during CaPE. Mon Wea Rev 125:2112–2130CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Case JL, Wheeler MM, Manobianco J, Weems JW, Roeder WP (2005) A 7-yr climatological study of land breezes over the Florida spaceport. J Appl Meteor 44:340–356CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Colette A, Chow FK, Street RL (2003) A numerical study of inversion-layer breakup and the effects of topographic shading in idealized valleys. J Appl Meteor 42:1255–1272CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Conil S, Hall A (2006) Local regimes of atmospheric variability: a case study of Southern California. J Clim 19:4308–4325CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Dai A, Trenberth KE, Karl TR (2004) Effects of clouds, soil moisture, precipitation, and water vapor on diurnal temperature range. J Clim 12:2451–2473CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Ding A, Wang T, Zhao M, Wang T, Zongkai L (2004) Simulation of sea-land breezes and a discussion of their implications on the transport of air pollution during a multi-day ozone episode in the Pearl River Delta of China. Atmos Env 38:6737–6750CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Dudhia J (1989) Numerical study of convection observed during the winter monsoon experiment using a mesoscale two-dimensional model. J Atmos Sci 46:3077–3107CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Grell GA, Dudhia J, Stauffer DR (1994) A description of the fifth-generation Penn State/NCAR Mesoscale Model (MM5). Technical report NCAR Tech. Note NCAR/TN 398 + STRGoogle Scholar
  10. Haurwitz B (1947) Comments on the sea-breeze circulation. J Meteor 4:1–8Google Scholar
  11. Hong SY, Pan HL (1996) Nonlocal boundary layer vertical diffusion in a medium-range forecast model. Mon Wea Rev 124:2322–2339CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Ignatov A, Gutman G (1999) Monthly mean diurnal cycles in surface temperatures over land for global climate studies. J Climate 12:1900–1910CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Jin M (2004) Analysis of land skin temperature using AVHRR observations. Bull Am Meteor Soc 85:587–600CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Kain JS (2002) The Kain-Fritsch convective parameterization: an update. J Appl Meteor 43:170–181CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Leopold LB (1949) The interaction of trade wind and sea breeze, Hawaii. J Atmos Sci 6:312–320CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Ludwig FL, Horel J, Whiteman CD (2004) Using EOF analysis to identify important surface wind patterns in mountain valleys. J Appl Meteor 43:969–983CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Mesinger F, DiMego G, Kalnay E, Mitchell K, Shafran P, Ebisuzaki W, Jovi D, Woollen J, Rogers E, Berbery EH, Ek MB, Fan Y, Grumbine R, Higgins W, Li H, Lin Y, Manikin G, Parrish D, Shi W (2006) North American Regional Reanalysis. Bull Am Meteor Soc 87:343–360CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Nitis T, Kitsiou D, Klaic ZB, Prtenjak MT, Moussiopoulos N (2005) The effects of basic flow and topography on the development of the sea breeze over a complex coastal environment. Q J R Meteor Soc 131:305–327CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Ohashi Y, Kida H (2002) Effects of mountains and urban areas on daytime local-circulations in the Osaka and kyoto regions. J Meteor Soc Japan 80:539–560CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Prandtl L (1952) Essentials of fluid dynamics. Blackie and Son Limited, GlasgowGoogle Scholar
  21. Rampanelli G, Zardi D, Rotunno R (2004) Mechanisms of up-valley winds. J Atmos Sci 61:3097–3111CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Rotunno R (1983) On the linear theory of the land and sea breeze. J Atmos Sci 40:1999–2009CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Simpson JE (1996) Diurnal changes in sea-breeze direction. J Appl Meteor 35:1166–1169CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Stewart JQ, Whiteman C, Steenburgh WJ, Bian X (2002) A climatological study of thermally driven wind systems of the US intermountain west. Bull Amer Meteor Soc 83:699–708CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. von Storch H, Zwiers FW (1999) Statistical analysis in climate research. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  26. Whiteman CD (2000) Mountain meteorology. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  27. Wilks DS (1995) Statistical methods in the atmospheric sciences. Academic, New YorkGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic SciencesUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

Personalised recommendations