Low level jet intensification by mineral dust aerosols
Modification of the intensity of a low level jet (LLJ) and near-surface wind speed by mineral dust is important as it has implications for dust emission and its long-range transport. Using the Weather Research and Forecasting with Chemistry (WRF/Chem) regional model, it is shown that direct radiative forcing by mineral dust reduces temperature in the lower atmosphere, but increases it in the layers aloft. The surface cooling is shown to be associated with a reduction of turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) and hence vertical mixing of horizontal momentum. Changes in the vertical profile of temperature over the regions that are under the influence of a LLJ are shown to result in an intensification of the LLJ and near-surface wind speed, but a decrease of winds aloft. These changes in the wind speed profile differ from results of previous research which suggested a decrease of wind speed in the lower atmosphere and its increase in the upper boundary layer. © Author(s) 2013.