A numerical study of clear-air turbulence (CAT) encounters over South Korea on 2 April 2007

Jung Hoon Kim, Hye Yeong Chun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)


On 2 April 2007, nine cases of moderate-or-greater-level clear-air turbulence (CAT) were observed from pilot reports over South Korea during the 6.5 h from 0200 to 0830 UTC. Those CAT events occurred in three different regions of South Korea: the west coast, Jeju Island, and the eastern mountain areas. The characteristics and possible mechanisms of the CAT events in the different regions are investigated using the Weather Research and Forecasting model. The simulation consists of six nested domains focused on the Korean Peninsula, with the finest horizontal grid spacing of 0.37 km. The simulated wind and temperature fields in a 30-km coarse domain are in good agreement with those of the Regional Data Assimilation and Prediction System (RDAPS) analysis data of the Korean Meteorological Administration and observed soundings of operational radiosondes over South Korea. In synoptic features, an upper-level front associated with strong meridional temperature gradients is intensified, and the jet stream passing through the central part of the Korean Peninsula exceeds 70 m s-1. Location and timing of the observed CAT events are reproduced in the finest domains of the simulated results in three different regions. Generation mechanisms of the CAT events revealed in the model results are somewhat different in the three regions. In the west coast area, the tropopause is deeply folded down to about z = 4 km because of the strengthening of an upper-level front, and the maximized vertical wind shear below the jet core produces localized turbulence. In the Jeju Island area, localized mixing and turbulence are generated on the anticyclonic shear side of the enhanced jet, where inertial instability and ageostrophic flow are intensified in the lee side of the convective system. In the eastern mountain area, large-amplitude gravity waves induced by complex terrain propagate vertically and subsequently break down over the lee side of topography, causing localized turbulence. For most of the CAT processes considered, except for the mountain-wave breaking, standard NWP resolutions of tens of kilometers are adequate to capture the CAT events.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2381-2403
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Dec

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science


Dive into the research topics of 'A numerical study of clear-air turbulence (CAT) encounters over South Korea on 2 April 2007'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this