A Model for the Dynamics of the Inversion Tennekes, 1973

A Model for the Dynamics of the Inversion
Above a Convective Boundary Layer
Tennekes, 1973
SIO 209: Temp Inversions
Melanie Zauscher
Problem: current (1973)
models do not predict
how capping inversion
height and strength
change in time
Goal: create a transient
model of inversion height
and strength
Major Contributions: model of inversions and
description of daily evolution of boundary layer
Temperature Inversion
Historical Background
Inversion Strength
Relevant Equations
Evolution of Boundary Layer
Morning Transient
Morning Convection
Afternoon Convection
Morning Transient:
Winter vs Summer
In winter Δ may not decrease enough for
entrainment to occur and increase h, so pollutants
may accumulate for days
Black Tuesday in St Louis 11/28/1938 lasted 9 days
Great London Smog of 12/5/1952 lasted 4 days
No Lapse Rate Above Inversion
No Lapse Rate Above Inversion
and No Surface Heat Flux
No Initial Inversion Strength and
No Surface Heat Flux
Impact of Paper
For the first time the daily evolution of BL is
described by differential equations
Tennekes, 1973 has been cited 441 times in
various fields: meteorology, oceanography,
ecology, environmental science, water resources,
forestry, earth sciences
Assumptions for Tennekes's Model
Horizontally homogeneous
Radiation is negligible
No water present – so no release of latent heat
Can replace θv for θ
Air above inversion is stable
dθ/dz ≠ dθ/dz (z, t)
<θ'w'> proportional to z