A Three‐Dimensional Model of Airflow and Orographic Rainfall Enhancement

A. J. Dore, T. W. Choularton

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    A three‐dimensional model of airflow over hills has been used in conjunction with a two‐dimensional model of orographic rainfall enhancement. This development has allowed the accurate production of rainfall contour maps in areas of complex terrain. A comparison has been made, using a variety of atmospheric stability profiles, between the wind fields and rainfall distributions over a bell‐shaped hill and those over a two dimensional ridge of similar height. the results show that, in conditions of either stably stratified air or with an inversion layer aloft, three‐dimensional airflow effects can lead to much reduced rainfall over a bell‐shaped hill. It is shown that in such situations the use of a two‐dimensional approximation can introduce significant errors. an example is presented of the rainfall distribution in complex hill terrain over south Kintyre on the western coast of Scotland.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1041-1056
    Number of pages16
    JournalQuarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society
    Issue number508
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1992


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