13 Nov 2023
 | 13 Nov 2023
Status: this preprint is open for discussion and under review for Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

Investigation of the climatology of low-level jets over North America in a high-resolution WRF simulation

Xiao Ma, Yanping Li, Zhenhua Li, and Fei Huo

Abstract. In this study, we utilized a high-resolution (4 km) convection-permitting Weather Research Forecasting (WRF) simulation spanning a 13-year period (2000–2013) to investigate the climatological features of Low-level Jets (LLJs) over North America. The 4-km simulation enabled us to represent the effects of orography and the underlying surface on the boundary layer winds better. Focusing on the continental US and the adjacent border regions of Canada and Mexico, this study characterizes the spatial distribution, seasonal patterns, and diurnal fluctuations of northerly/southerly LLJ occurrence frequencies. This paper not only identified several well-known large-scale LLJs in North America, such as the southerly Great Plains LLJ and the summer northerly California coastal LLJ, but also the Quebec northerly LLJ, which gets less focus before. Moreover, the high-resolution simulation revealed climatic characteristics of weaker and smaller-scale LLJs or low-level wind maxima in regions with complex terrains, such as the northerly LLJs in the foothill regions of the Rocky Mountains and the Appalachian during the winter. Additionally, the different thermal and dynamic mechanisms forming significant LLJs near the Great Plains, California, and Quebec are investigated. This study provides valuable insights into the climatological features of LLJs in North America and the high-resolution simulation offers a more detailed understanding of LLJ behavior near complex terrains and other smaller-scale features.

Xiao Ma et al.

Status: open (until 25 Dec 2023)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse

Xiao Ma et al.

Xiao Ma et al.


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Short summary
This research studies the climatological attributes of low-level jets (LLJs) across North America using a 4km simulation. The study identifies significant LLJ systems such as the Great Plains LLJs. It also provides insights into less adequately represented LLJ systems by coarser models, such as the Quebec Northerly LLJ and small-scale low-level wind maxima around the Rocky Mountains. Additionally, the study investigates three distinct LLJs' diverse physical mechanisms driving their formation.