Synoptic Flow Interactions in Complex Terrain

Friday, 19 December 2014
Christopher M Hocut1, Zachariah Silver2, Yansen Wang1, Edward Creegan3, Melvin Felton1, Sebastian Hoch4, Harindra Joseph Fernando2, Silvana Di Sabatino2,5, Laura Leo2, Reneta Dimitrova2,6, Tamas Zsedrovits7, Eric Pardyjak8 and Giap Huynh1, (1)US Army Research Lab, Adelphi, MD, United States, (2)University of Notre Dame, Civil & Environmental Engineering & Earth Sciences, Notre Dame, IN, United States, (3)US Army Research Laboratory, White Sands Missile, NM, United States, (4)University of Utah, Atmospheric Sciences, Salt Lake City, UT, United States, (5)University of Salento, Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences and Technologies Micrometeorology Laboratory, Lecce, Italy, (6)National Institute of Geophysics, Geodesy and Geography, Sofia, Bulgaria, (7)Pazmany Peter Catholic University, Faculty of Information Technology and Bionics, Budapest, Hungary, (8)University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, United States
In the spring of 2013, the Mountain Terrain Atmospheric Modeling and Observations Program (MATERHORN) conducted its second extensive field experiment at the Granite Mountain Atmospheric Science Testbed (GMAST), US Army Dugway Proving Grounds (DPG), Utah. Of particular interest to MATERHORN-X-2 were synoptic dominated conditions in which synoptic flows interacted with thermal circulations and the topography leading to modulations of the thermal circulations and external-flow generated lee and progressive waves and if the Froude number was low; eddies, large vortices, wakes and waves developed in the lee of Granite Mountain. To capture these phenomena, a suite of advanced instrumentation was used, which could characterize the upstream unmodified synoptic approach flow and identify the synoptic flow / mountain interactions. In addition to meteorological towers, Doppler LiDARs, placed at two locations to the east and in the lee of Granite Mountain were particularly useful, showing the horizontal spatial pattern and temporal evolution of the synoptic generated phenomena. WRF simulations were used to provide analysis guidance.

This research was funded by Office of Naval Research Grant # N00014-11-1-0709 and the Air Force Weather Agency.