Role of wind shear in the decay of convective boundary layers

Seung Bu Park, Jong Jin Baik, Beom Soon Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The role of wind shear in the decay of the convective boundary layer (CBL) is systematically investigated using a series of large-eddy simulations. Nine CBLs with weak, intermediate, and strong wind shear are simulated, and their decays after stopping surface heat flux are investigated. After the surface heat flux is stopped, the boundary-layer-averaged turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) stays constant for almost one convective time scale and then decreases following a power law. While the decrease persists until the end of the simulation in the buoyancy-dominated (weak-shear) cases, the TKE in the other cases decreases slowly or even increases to a level which can be maintained by wind shear. In the buoyancy-dominated cases, convective cells occur, and they decay and oscillate over time. The oscillation of vertical velocity is not distinct in the other cases, possibly because wind shear disturbs the reversal of vertical circulations. The oscillations are detected again in the profiles of vertical turbulent heat flux in the buoyancy-dominated cases. In the strong-shear cases, mechanical turbulent eddies are generated, which transport heat downward in the lower boundary layers when convective turbulence decays significantly. The time series of vertical velocity skewness demonstrates the shear-dependent flow characteristics of decaying CBLs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number622
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2020


  • Convective boundary layer
  • Convective time scale
  • Decay
  • Large-eddy simulation
  • Planetary boundary layer
  • Skewness
  • Wind shear


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