Title: Atmospheric Dynamics along the California Coast.
Abstract: The lower atmosphere along the coast of California consists of a distinct cool marine layer near the surface that is bounded on one side by coastal topography. This system resembles open-channel engineering applications referred to as hydraulic flow. Wind in the marine layer is typically fast and equatorward during the warm season. A high wind speed and shallow marine layer leads to supercritical flow, which permits hydraulic features that can impact wind energy production, wind stress on the ocean surface, and propagation of electromagnetic waves by modifying the vertical refractivity gradient. Output from numerical weather simulations and fine-scale measurements from an aircraft are used to test how well the observed features conform to the hydraulic approximation. Specific features such as a compression bulge, expansion fan, hydraulic jump, and formation of Kelvin-Helmholtz instability are presented.