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A simple method based on routine observations to nowcast down-valley

Abstract : A simple relation to diagnose the existence of a thermally-driven down-valley wind in a shallow (100 m deep) and narrow (1 - 2 km wide) valley based on routine weather measurements has been determined. The relation is based on a method which has been derived from a forecast verification principle. It consists of optimizing a threshold of permanently measured quantities to nowcast the thermally-driven Cadarache (southeastern France) down-valley wind. Three parameters permanently observed at a 110 m high tower have been examined: the potential temperature difference between the heights of 110 m and 2 m, the wind speed at 110 m and a bulk Richardson number. The thresholds are optimized thanks to the wind observations obtained within the valley during the field experiment KASCADE, which was conducted in the winter of 2013. The highest predictability of the down-valley wind at the height of 10 m (correct nowcasting ratio of 0.90) was found for the potential temperature difference at a threshold value of 2.6 K. The applicability of the method to other heights of the down-valley wind (2 and 30 m) and to summer conditions is also demonstrated. This allowed a reconstruction of the climatology of the thermally-driven down-valley wind which demonstrates that the wind exists throughout the year, and is strongly linked to nighttime duration. This threshold technique will allow to forecast the subgrid-scale down-valley wind from operational numerical weather coarse grid simulations by means of statistical downscaling.
Keywords : thermally-driven
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Gert-Jan Duine, Thierry Hedde, Pierre Roubin, Pierre Durand. A simple method based on routine observations to nowcast down-valley. Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, American Meteorological Society, 2016, 55 (7), pp.1497-1511. ⟨10.1175/JAMC-D-15-0274.1⟩. ⟨cea-02382814⟩

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