Boundary-Layer Meteorology

, Volume 170, Issue 2, pp 305–321 | Cite as

Simulating the Regime Transition of the Stable Boundary Layer Using Different Simplified Models

  • Rafael MaronezeEmail author
  • Otávio C. Acevedo
  • Felipe D. Costa
  • Jielun Sun
Research Article


The transition between the stable and the near-neutral regimes corresponding to weak and strong winds in the stable boundary layer is investigated using four one-dimensional numerical models with increasing numbers of prognostic equations for turbulent variables. The basic state for all the models includes prognostic equations for mean horizontal wind speed, and air and surface temperatures. The simplest model of the four has turbulence variables parametrized using a long-tail stability function and the gradient Richardson number. The complexity of the other three models increases by introducing one more prognostic equation to each model to reduce the number of parametrized turbulent variables: a prognostic equation for turbulent kinetic energy (TKE, e model), an additional prognostic equation for heat fluxes (e-\(F_{H}\) model), and an additional prognostic equation for temperature variances (e-\(F_H\)-\(\sigma _{\theta }\) model). Results for all modells are similar in the strong-wind regime. The two stability regimes can be identified in the relationship between the turbulence velocity scale derived from TKE and mean wind speed from the three models with resolved TKE. However, the weak-wind regime can only be resolved with heat fluxes and temperature variance solved by prognostic equations. Simulations with the removal of the buoyancy term associated with heat fluxes in the TKE equation only result in the strong-wind regime, showing that this term controls the regime transition.


Stable boundary layer Strong-wind regime Transition Weak-wind regime 



The study was supported by Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq) (Grant No. 307024/2017-2) and by Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES).


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de FísicaUniversidade Federal de Santa MariaSanta MariaBrazil
  2. 2.Universidade Federal do Pampa-CampusAlegreteBrazil
  3. 3.NorthWest Research AssociatesBoulderUSA

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