The Effect of Surface Heating Heterogeneity on Boundary Layer Height and Its Dependence on Background Wind Speed

Rui Liu, Shaofeng Liu, Huishan Huang, Yongjiu Dai, Xubin Zeng, Hua Yuan, Zhongwang Wei, Xingjie Lu, Nan Wei, Shupeng Zhang, Junhong Wei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The planetary boundary layer height (PBLH) is a fundamental variable of the planetary boundary layer (PBL). The effect of surface heterogeneity is challenging in the PBL parameterization for numerical weather and climate models. Here we use large eddy simulation data to investigate the impact of surface heating heterogeneity on the PBLH spatial variations and mean values over a domain of typical mesoscale model grid size. It is found that this impact depends on background wind condition. Variance decomposition and Fourier spectra both reveal that for the fully developed sheared convective PBL, surface heterogeneity contributes little to the spatial variation of PBLH, except for the case with heterogeneity scale of 14.4 km. This suggests that surface heterogeneity with length scales less than ∼10 km, which is typical for mesoscale modeling, does not induce significant subgrid spatial variation of PBLH. The domain-averaged PBLH is found to generally increase as surface heterogeneity scale decreases, until reaching the scale on the order of PBLH. The findings can be used to inform the parameterization development of PBL processes over heterogeneous surface.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2022JD037168
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research Atmospheres
Volume127
Issue number19
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 16 2022

Keywords

  • boundary layer height
  • large eddy simulation data
  • surface heterogeneity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science

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