Dynamical analysis of sea-breeze hodograph rotation in Sardinia
- The University of British Columbia, Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, Vancouver, Canada
Abstract. This study investigates the diurnal evolution of sea-breeze (SB) rotation over an island at the middle latitudes. Earlier research on sea breezes in Sardinia shows that the onshore winds around various coasts of the island exhibit both the theoretically predicted clockwise rotation as well as seemingly anomalous anticlockwise rotation. A non-hydrostatic fully compressible numerical model (WRF) is used to simulate wind fields on and around the island on previously studied sea-breeze days, and is shown to capture the circulation on all coasts accurately. Diurnal rotation of wind is examined, and patterns of clockwise and anticlockwise rotation are identified. A dynamical analysis is performed by extracting individual forcing terms from the horizontal momentum equations. Analysis of several regions around the island shows that the direction of rotation is a result of a complex interaction between near-surface and synoptic pressure gradient, Coriolis and advection forcings. An idealized simulation is performed over an artificial island with dramatically simplified topography yet similar dimensions and latitude to Sardinia. Dynamical analysis of the idealized case reveals a rather different pattern of hodograph rotation to the real Sardinia, yet similar underlying dynamics. The research provides new insights into the dynamics underlying sea-breeze hodograph rotation, especially in coastal zones with a complex topography and/or coastline.