Environmental Fluid Mechanics

, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 485–495 | Cite as

Comparison of analytical descriptions of nocturnal low-level jets within the Ekman model framework

Original Article


This study focuses on the inertial oscillation aspect of the nocturnal low-level jet (NLLJ). In the context of the Ekman model solutions, conceptual NLLJ inertial oscillation analytical frameworks proposed by Blackadar in 1957 and Shapiro and Fedorovich and van de Wiel et al. in 2010 are compared. Considering a NLLJ produced via direct numerical simulation over flat terrain with no baroclinic influence as a reference case, the deficiencies of each framework in representing a realistic NLLJ are assessed. The Blackadar theory results in unrealistic wind profiles near the surface. While extensions of Blackadar’s framework by Shapiro and Fedorovich and van de Wiel et al. produce more realistic NLLJs, the simpler approach taken by van de Wiel et al. does not describe the NLLJ wind hodograph at later times sufficiently in qualitative terms.


Analytical model Blackadar’s theory Low-level jet Inertial oscillation 



The authors gratefully acknowledge support through the National Science Foundation (USA) Grant AGS-1359698. The authors are also grateful to anonymous reviewers for their helpful insights on the work.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elizabeth Smith
    • 1
  • Evgeni Fedorovich
    • 1
  • Alan Shapiro
    • 1
  1. 1.School of MeteorologyUniversity of OklahomaNormanUSA

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