Boundary-Layer Meteorology

, Volume 148, Issue 2, pp 419–436 | Cite as

Wake Response to an Ocean-Feedback Mechanism: Madeira Island Case Study

  • Rui M. A. CaldeiraEmail author
  • Ricardo Tomé


We focus on an island wake episode that occurred in the Madeira Archipelago region of the north-east Atlantic at \(32.5^{\circ }\mathrm{N}, 17^{\circ }\mathrm{W}\). The Weather Research and Forecasting numerical model was used in a (one-way) downscaling mode, considering initial and boundary conditions from the European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasts system. The current literature emphasizes adiabatic effects on the dynamical aspects of atmospheric wakes. Changes in mountain height and consequently its relation to the atmospheric inversion layer should explain the shift in wake regimes, from a ‘strong-wake’ to ‘weak-wake’ scenario. Nevertheless, changes in sea-surface temperature variability in the lee of an island can induce similar regime shifts because of exposure to stronger solar radiation. Increase in evaporation contributes to the enhancement of convection and thus to the uplift of the stratified atmospheric layer above the critical height, with subsequent internal gravity wave activity.


Air-sea interaction Convective boundary layer Inertial gravity waves Marine atmospheric boundary layer Resonance waves 



This work was carried out within the scope of two research projects funded by the Portuguese National Science Foundation (POCI/MAR/57265/2004 and PPCDT/MAR/57265/2004). We thank Annick Terpstra and Gert-Jan Steeneveld from Wageningen Universiteit, Netherlands, for the inspiring report. This work has led to a recent EUFAR (European Facility for Airborne Research) campaign in Madeira, which is expected to continue to fuel discussion of ocean feedback mechanisms affecting wake-regime evolution. Comments from two anonymous reviewers have substantially improved the manuscript.

Supplementary material

10546_2013_9817_MOESM1_ESM.mp4 (879 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (mp4 879 KB)
10546_2013_9817_MOESM2_ESM.mp4 (1.1 mb)
Supplementary material 2 (mp4 1088 KB)
10546_2013_9817_MOESM3_ESM.mp4 (1 mb)
Supplementary material 3 (mp4 1038 KB)


  1. Aves SL, Johnson RH (2008) The diurnal cycle of convection over the northern South China Sea. J Meteorol Soc Jpn 86(6):919–934CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Businger JA, Shaw WJ (1984) The response of the marine boundary layer to mesoscale variations in sea-surface temperature. Dyn Atmos Oceans 8:267–281CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Chen F, Dudhia J (2001) Coupling an advanced land-surface/ hydrology model with the Penn State / NCAR MM5 modeling system. Part I: model description and implementation. Mon Weather Rev 129:569–585CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Chopra KP (1973) Atmospheric and oceanic flow, problems introduced by islands. Adv Geophys 16:297–421CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Chopra KP, Hubert LF (1965) Mesoscale eddies in wake of islands. J Atmos Sci 22:652–757CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Dee DP (2011) The ERA-interim reanalysis: configuration and performance of the data assimilation system. Q J R Meteorol Soc 137:553–597CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Elting D (1989) On atmospheric vortex streets in the wake of large islands. Meteorol Atmos Phys 41:157–164CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Elting D (1990) Mesoscale vortex shedding from large islands: a comparison with laboratory experiments of rotating stratified flows. Meteorol Atmos Phys 43:145–151CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Fay B, Schrodin R, Jacobsen I, Engelbart D (1997) Validation of mixing heights derived from the operational NWP models at the German Weather Service. In: Gryning SE (ed) EURASAP workshop proceedings on the determination of the H-current progress and problems. Risø-R-997 (EN), pp 55–58, 158 ppGoogle Scholar
  10. Grachev AA, Fairall CW (1996) Dependence of the Monin–Obukhov stability parameter on the bulk Richardson number over the ocean. J Appl Meteorol 36:406–414CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Grubišić V, Smith RB, Schär C (1995) The effect of bottom friction on shallow-water flow past an isolated obstacle. J Atmos Sci 52:1985–2005CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Gryning SE, Batchvarova E (2003) Marine atmospheric boundary-layer height estimated from NWP model output. Int J Environ Pollut 120:147–153Google Scholar
  13. Hara T, Ohya Y, Uchida T, Ohba R (2009) Wind-tunnel and numerical simulations of the coastal thermal internal boundary layer. Boundary-Layer Meteorol 130:365–381CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hayes SP, McPhaden MJ, Wallace JM (1989) The influence of sea surface temperature on surface wind in the eastern equatorial. Pacific: weekly to monthly variability. J Clim 2:1500–1506CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hong SY, Lim JOJ (2006) The WRF single-moment 6-class microphysics scheme (WSM6). J Korean Meteorol Soc 42:129–151Google Scholar
  16. Janjic ZI (1990) The step-mountain coordinate: physical package. Mon Weather Rev 118:1429–1443CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Janjic ZI (1994) The step-mountain eta coordinate model: further developments of the convection, viscous sublayer and turbulence closure schemes. Mon Weather Rev 122:927–945CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Janjic ZI (1996) The surface layer in the NCEP Eta Model. In: Eleventh conference on numerical weather prediction, Norfolk, VA, USA, 1923 August. American Meteorological Society, Boston, pp 354–355Google Scholar
  19. Janjic ZI (2000) Comments on development and evaluation of a convection scheme for use in climate models. J Atmos Sci 57:36–86CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Janjic ZI (2002) Nonsingular implementation of the Mellor–Yamada level 2.5 scheme in the NCEP meso mode. NCEP Office Note, No. 437, 61 ppGoogle Scholar
  21. Jeričević A, Grisogon B (2006) The critical bulk Richardson number in urban areas: verification and application in a numerical weather prediction model. Tellus A 58(1):19–27CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Li X, Clemente-Colon P, Pichel W, Vachon, P, Friedman K (2002) Imaging the sea surface imprints of atmospheric vortex Streets by space-borne synthetic aperture radar. In: AMS 6th symposium on integrated observing systems, OrlandoGoogle Scholar
  23. Lin YL (2007) Mesoscale dynamics. Cambridge University Press, New York, 646 ppGoogle Scholar
  24. Lintner BR, Neelin JD (2007) Time scales and spatial patterns of passive ocean-atmosphere decay modes. J Clim 21:2187–2203CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Mahrt L (1981) Modelling the depth of the stable boundary layer. Boundary-Layer Meteorol 21:3–19CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Miranda PMA, Valente MA (1997) On critical level resonance in three-dimensional flow past isolated mountains. J Atmos Sci 54(12):1574–1588CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Miranda PMA, Ferreira JJ, Thorpe AJ (1999) Gravity wave drag produced by Madeira. Q J R Meteorol Soc 125:1341–1357Google Scholar
  28. Mlawer EJ (1997) Radiative transfer for inhomogeneous atmospheres: RRTM, a validated correlated-k model for the longwave. J Geophys Res 102(14):16663–16682CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Scorer R (1986) Cloud investigation by satellite. Wiley, New York, 300 ppGoogle Scholar
  30. Schär C, Smith RB (1993) Shallow-water flow past isolated topography. Part I: vorticity production and wake formation. J Atmos Sci 50:1373–1400CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Skamarock WC, Klemp JB (2008) A time-split nonhydrostatic atmospheric model for weather research and forecasting applications. J Comput Phys 227:3465–3485CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Smith RB, Gleason A, Gluhosky P, Grubišić V (1997) The wake of St. Vincent. J Atmos Sci 54:606–623CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Small RJ, de Szoeke SP, Xie SP, O’Neill L, Seo H, Song Q, Cornillon P, Spall M, Minobe S (2008) Air–sea interaction over ocean fronts and eddies. Dyn Atmos Oceans 45(3–4):274–319CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Sweet W, Fett R, Kerling J, La Violette P (1981) Air–sea interaction effects in the lower troposphere across the north wall of the Gulf Stream. Mon Weather Rev 109:1042–1052CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Sørensen JH, Rasmussen A, Svensmark H (1996) Forecast of atmospheric boundary-layer height for ETEX real-time dispersion modelling. Phys Chem Earth 21:435–439CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Young GS, Zawislak J (2005) An observational study of vortex spacing in island wake vortex streets. Mon Weather Rev 134:2285–2294CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Zilitinkevich S, Baklanov A (2002) Calculation of the height of the stable boundary layer in practical applications. Boundary-Layer Meteorol 105:389–409CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CIIMAR—Interdisciplinary Centre of Marine and Environmental ResearchPortoPortugal
  2. 2.CCM—Center for Mathematical SciencesUniversity of MadeiraFunchal, MadeiraPortugal
  3. 3.CCMMG—Centro do Clima, Meteorologia e Mudanças GlobaisUniversity of Azores, Polo Universitário de Angra do HeroísmoAngra do HeroísmoPortugal
  4. 4.Instituto Dom Luiz (IDL)Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa Campo GrandeLisbonPortugal

Personalised recommendations