Downbursts are strong downdrafts that originate from thunderstorm clouds and create vigorous radial outflows upon hitting the ground. This study is part of the comprehensive experimental research on downburst outflows produced as large-scale impinging jets in the WindEEE Dome simulator at Western University, Canada. The 2800 tests carried out form the largest database of experimental measurements on downburst winds developed thus far, which is made available to the public in its whole and described in detail in a complementary study. Therefore, the current manuscript merely focuses on the data postprocessing outcomes and interpretation of results from a selected subset of measurements. Impinging jets are here simulated as transient phenomena in which velocity time series are characterized by a sudden ramp-up of velocity, followed by the velocity peak, a short statistically stationary region, and the final velocity slowdown, as it is expected to occur in the actual downbursts. A dominant velocity peak that was systematically observed in all velocity records is associated with the radial advection of the primary vortex in the outflow. Depending on the radial distance from the downdraft, the primary vortex was sometimes preceded by a secondary, much smaller, vortex close to the surface. Vertical profiles of mean velocity and turbulence intensity are for the first time characterized through the extent of a downburst-like event in the spatiotemporal domain. Particularly, these profiles rapidly change in relation to the passage of the primary vortex and consequent variation of the surface layer thickness. This study lays out a foundation for an experimental model of non-stationary downburst outflows to come.

Experimental investigation of the near-surface flow dynamics in downburst-like impinging jets

Canepa, Federico;Burlando, Massimiliano;Solari, Giovanni;Hangan, Horia
2022

Abstract

Downbursts are strong downdrafts that originate from thunderstorm clouds and create vigorous radial outflows upon hitting the ground. This study is part of the comprehensive experimental research on downburst outflows produced as large-scale impinging jets in the WindEEE Dome simulator at Western University, Canada. The 2800 tests carried out form the largest database of experimental measurements on downburst winds developed thus far, which is made available to the public in its whole and described in detail in a complementary study. Therefore, the current manuscript merely focuses on the data postprocessing outcomes and interpretation of results from a selected subset of measurements. Impinging jets are here simulated as transient phenomena in which velocity time series are characterized by a sudden ramp-up of velocity, followed by the velocity peak, a short statistically stationary region, and the final velocity slowdown, as it is expected to occur in the actual downbursts. A dominant velocity peak that was systematically observed in all velocity records is associated with the radial advection of the primary vortex in the outflow. Depending on the radial distance from the downdraft, the primary vortex was sometimes preceded by a secondary, much smaller, vortex close to the surface. Vertical profiles of mean velocity and turbulence intensity are for the first time characterized through the extent of a downburst-like event in the spatiotemporal domain. Particularly, these profiles rapidly change in relation to the passage of the primary vortex and consequent variation of the surface layer thickness. This study lays out a foundation for an experimental model of non-stationary downburst outflows to come.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11567/1087244
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