Boundary-Layer Meteorology

, Volume 119, Issue 3, pp 501–526 | Cite as

The Morning Transition of the Nocturnal Boundary Layer



Six years of observations from a surface instrument site have been analysed to determine timings and factors influencing developmental changes in the near-surface wind and turbulent heat fluxes during the morning heating of the atmospheric boundary layer. A simple relationship has been found between near-surface wind speed and screen temperature, together with a predictive equation for the morning transition air temperature. Profile measurements from a probe mounted on a tethered balloon have beenused to supplement the surface data and study the processes underlying these surface relationships. The results have confirmed earlier work and have shown that both before and immediately after morning transition, almost all heating in the surface layer is due to turbulent diffusion from above. In order to explain the mechanisms involved in the relationships, a simple finite difference model has been run and validated against the profile data. The model predictions are compared with observations during both the morning and evening and the differences related to the different temperature profiles. Numerical forecasting rules for the surface wind speed and transition temperature are derived from the results.


Forecasting rule Morning transition Stable boundary layer 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Field site, Cardington airfieldMet OfficeShortstownU.K.

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