Articles | Volume 15, issue 6
30 Jun 1997
30 Jun 1997

Two-dimensional structure of mountain wave observed by aircraft during the PYREX experiment

J. L. Attié, A. Druilhet, P. Durand, and B. Bénech

Abstract. This study presents an experimental analysis from aircraft measurements above the Pyrenees chain during the PYREX experiment. The Pyrenees chain, roughly WE oriented, is a major barrier for northerly and southerly airflows. We present a case of southerly flow (15 October 1990) and three successive cases of northerly flows above the Pyrenees (14, 15 and 16 November 1990) documented by two aircraft. The aircraft have described a vertical cross section perpendicular to the Pyrenean ridge. This area is described via the thermodynamical and dynamical fields which have a horizontal resolution of 10 km. Three methods for computing the vertical velocity of the air are presented. The horizontal advection terms which play a role in the budget equations are also evaluated. The altitude turbulence zone of 15 October are shown via turbulent fluxes, turbulent kinetic energy (TKE), dissipation rate of TKE and inertial length-scale. A comparison of results obtained by eddy-correlation and inertial-dissipation method is presented. The experimental results show a warm and dry downdraft for the southerly flow with large values for advection terms. All the mountain wave cases are also shown to present an important dynamical perturbation just above the Pyrenees at upper altitudes.