OBSERVATIONS OF THE DAYTIME BOUNDARY LAYER IN DEEP ALPINE VALLEYS

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Abstract

Mixing depth structure and its evolution have been diagnosed from radar wind profiler data in the Chamonix and the Maurienne valleys (France) during summer 2003. The behaviour of refractive index structure parameter Cn2 peaks coupled with the vertical velocity variance δ ω2 was used to estimate the height of the mixed layer. Tethersonde vertical profiles were carried out to investigate the lower layers of the atmosphere in the range of approximately 400–500 m above ground level. The tethersonde device was especially useful to study the reversal of the valley wind system during the morning transition period. Specific features such as wind reversal and the convective mixed layer up to approximately the altitude of the surrounding mountains were documented. The wind reversal was observed to be much more sudden in the Maurienne valley than in the Chamonix valley

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