Volume 105, Issue 3
September 1996, pages 209-355
pp 209-225 September 1996
The multi-institutional experiment MONTBLEX aimed at sensing and studying the atmospheric boundary layer over the monsoon trough region of the northern plains of India during the summer monsoon of 1990. Four core facilities consisting of micro-meteorological towers and state-of-the-art instrumentation were created along the trough axis. This overview emphasizes the key features of project planning, management and execution, and provides detail? of all the experimental observation sites.
pp 227-260 September 1996
An attempt has been made here to study the sensitivity of the mean and the turbulence structure of the monsoon trough boundary layer to the choice of the constants in the dissipation equation for two stations Delhi and Calcutta, using one-dimensional atmospheric boundary layer model withe-ε turbulence closure. An analytical discussion of the problems associated with the constants of the dissipation equation is presented. It is shown here that the choice of the constants in the dissipation equation is quite crucial and the turbulence structure is very sensitive to these constants. The modification of the dissipation equation adopted by earlier studies, that is, approximating the Tke generation (due to shear and buoyancy production) in theε-equation by max (shear production, shear + buoyancy production), can be avoided by a suitable choice of the constants suggested here. The observed turbulence structure is better simulated with these constants. The turbulence structure simulation with the constants recommended by Aupoixet al (1989) (which are interactive in time) for the monsoon region is shown to be qualitatively similar to the simulation obtained with the constants suggested here, thus implying that no universal constants exist to regulate dissipation rate.
Simulations of the mean structure show little sensitivity to the type of the closure parameterization betweene-l ande-ε closures. However the turbulence structure simulation withe-ε. closure is far better compared to thee-l model simulations. The model simulations of temperature profiles compare quite well with the observations whenever the boundary layer is well mixed (neutral) or unstable. However the models are not able to simulate the nocturnal boundary layer (stable) temperature profiles. Moisture profiles are simulated reasonably better. With one-dimensional models, capturing observed wind variations is not up to the mark.
pp 261-272 September 1996
A monostatic sodar was set up at Jodhpur, near the western end of the monsoon trough, to investigate the atmospheric boundary layer dynamics. A 30 m instrumented tower was also located close to the sodar antenna. Data were collected from June to August during the monsoon period of 1990, as also from July 1992 to September 1993.
Thermal plumes, surface-based stable layers (both flat or short spiky top and tall spiky top), elevated/multi-layers with or without undulations and dot echo structures were seen; however, erosion of the morning inversion layer in the form of a rising layer with growing thermal plumes under it was rarely seen, and that too only during the winter period. The observed structure of the stable layer with tall spikes and its depth have been found to be correlated with the intensity of the monsoon spell; the dot echoes have been found to be correlated with the approach of a monsoon depression near Jodhpur; and the elevated/multilayers have been attributed to the formation of a subsidence (shear instability).
pp 273-287 September 1996
Using MONTBLEX-90 mean velocity data, roughness lengths and drag coefficients are estimated at Jodhpur and Kharagpur. At Jodhpur, since the surface is not uniform the roughness length is estimated separately in three different subsectors within the range of prevailing wind directions and averages to 1.23 cm in the sector between 200° and 230° which is relatively flat with no obstacles on the ground. At Kharagpur, where the terrain is more nearly homogeneous, the average value (for all prevailing wind directions) is 1.94 cm.
The drag coefficient CD at Jodhpur shows variation both with the roughness subsector and with wind speed, the average over all directions increasing rapidly as themean wind speed Ū10 at 10m height drops according to the power lawCD = 0.05 Ū10t-1.09 in trie range 0.5 < Ū10 < 7 m s−1. At Kharagpur, the drag coefficient is smaller than at Jodhpur by nearly 50% for the same range of wind speeds (> 3 ms−1).
pp 289-307 September 1996
In this paper, acoustic sounder (sodar) derived vertical velocity variance (σw2) and inversion height (Zi) are used to compute the surface heat flux during the convective activity in the morning hours. The surface heat flux computed by these methods is found to be of the same order of magnitude as that obtained from tower measurements. Inversion heights derived from sodar reflectivity profiles averaged for an hour are compared with those obtained from the σw2/Z profile. Variation of σw2 in the mixed layer is discussed. The data were collected during the Monsoon Trough Boundary Layer Experiment 1990 at Kharagpur. The analysis is made for four days which represent the pre-monsoon, onset, active and relatively weak phases of the summer monsoon 1990. The interaction of the ABL with the monsoon activity is studied in terms of the variation of inversion height, vertical velocity variance and surface heat flux as monsoon progresses from June to August.
pp 309-323 September 1996
Parameterization of sensible heat and momentum fluxes as inferred from an analysis of tower observations archived during MONTBLEX-90 at Jodhpur is proposed, both in terms of standard exchange coefficientsCH andCD respectively and also according to free convection scaling. Both coefficients increase rapidly at low winds (the latter more strongly) and with increasing instability. All the sensible heat flux data at Jodhpur (wind speed at 10 m Ū10 < 8 ms−1) also obey free convection scaling, with the flux proportional to the ‘4/3’ power of an appropriate temperature difference such as that between 1 and 30 m. Furthermore, for Ū10 < 4 ms−1 the momentum flux displays a linear dependence on wind speed.
pp 325-341 September 1996
Radiosonde data from Jodhpur, taken at 0530, 1730 and around 1100 hr IST during MONTBLEX 1990, reveal that the distribution of virtual potential temperature0v below about 500 hPa has a structure characterized by up to three layers each of approximately constant gradient. We are thus led to introduce a characterization of the observed thermal structure through a sequence of the symbolsN, S andU, standing respectively for neutral, stable or unstable conditions in the different layers, beginning with the one closest to the ground. It is found that, of the 29 combinations possible, only the seven classes,S, SS′, SNS′, NS, NSS′, USS′ andUNS are observed, whereS′ stands for a stable layer with a different gradient of0r. than in the layerS. It is also found that, in 90% of the launches at 0530 hr, 48% of the launches at 1730 hr and 69% of the launches around 1100 hr, the first radiosonde layer near the ground is stable; the classical mixed layer was found in only 11 % of the data set analysed, and, if present on other occasions, must have been less than 250 m in height, the first level at which radiosonde data are available. Supplementing the above data, sodar echograms, available during 82% of the time between June and August 1990, suggest a stable layer up to a few tens of metres 48% of the time. A comparative study of the radiosonde data at Ranchi shows that the frequent prevalence of stability near the surface at Jodhpur cannot be attributed entirely to the large scale subsidence known to be characteristic of the Rajasthan area. Further, data at Jodhpur reveal a weak low level jet at heights generally ranging from 400 to 900 m with wind speeds of 6 to 15 m/s. Based on these results, it is conjectured that the lowest layers in the atmosphere during the monsoons, especially with heavy clouding or rain, may frequently be closer to the classical nocturnal boundary layer than to the standard convective mixed layer, although often with shallow plumes that penetrate such a stable layer during daytime.
pp 343-355 September 1996
Using surface charts at 0330GMT, the movement of the monsoon trough during the months June to September 1990 at two fixed longitudes, namely 79°E and 85°E, is studied. The probability distribution of trough position shows that the median, mean and mode occur at progressively more northern latitudes, especially at 85°E, with a pronounced mode that is close to the northern-most limit reached by the trough. A spectral analysis of the fluctuating latitudinal position of the trough is carried out using FFT and the Maximum Entropy Method (MEM). Both methods show significant peaks around 7.5 and 2.6 days, and a less significant one around 40–50 days. The two peaks at the shorter period are more prominent at the eastern longitude. MEM shows an additional peak around 15 days. A study of the weather systems that occurred during the season shows them to have a duration around 3 days and an interval between systems of around 9 days, suggesting a possible correlation with the dominant short periods observed in the spectrum of trough position.