The development of a dry inversion-capped convectively unstable boundary layer

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Abstract

A model is proposed for the development of a dry convectively unstable boundary layer capped by a stable layer; included are the effects of time-dependent surface heating, the stability of the capping layer, subsidence and any degree of turbulent interfacial mixing. A differential equation describing the evolution indicates quantitatively the relative importance of each factor and, in particular, indicates the importance of the entrainment process. The model is applied to the 1953 O'Neill boundary layer data in an attempt to assess to what degree interfacial mixing is realized in the atmosphere. Realistic boundary layer developments are obtained.

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