Orographic Flow Response to Variations in Upstream Humidity
Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences
The effects of upstream relative humidity (RH) on low-level wind and precipitation patterns for lowspeed, statically stable flows over a mountain are investigated using idealized two-and three-dimensional numerical-simulation experiments in which RH is increased from 0% to 100%. For RH less than some critical threshold, the flow upstream becomes less decelerated as RH is increased; for RH greater than this threshold, the flow upstream becomes more decelerated as RH is increased. This increasing
... ed. This increasing deceleration with RH is due to locally enhanced static stability resulting from enhanced condensation near the freezing level. Analyses from the simulations indicate that the lifted condensation level and the height of the freezing level are significant control parameters for the upstream-flow deceleration in the steady-state solutions. Dimensional analysis using these control parameters (as well as others) brings forth new nondimensional parameters that are shown to enter into analytic formulas for the orographic upstream-flow deceleration in a moist atmosphere.