The effect of rainfall rate on latent and sensible heat fluxes in West Texas



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Texas Tech University


An understanding of local changes and relationships of meteorological parameters in the atmospheric boundary layer can be very useful when working with numerical models. A better understanding of these relationships can lead to a better parameterization of the models in the planetary boundary layer thus increasing the accuracy of the models.

Using the West Texas Mesonet data from 2003 for all 40 of the sites, I looked into the effects that variable amounts of rainfall had on the amounts of latent and sensible heat fluxes during different periods. Calculations of fluxes from the mesonet data were used to compare dry periods and periods of rainfall throughout the year in hopes that some valuable relationships could be determined. Comparisons were also made between environmentally stable and unstable atmospheres, as well as station location being on or off the Caprock to get a better feeling for how these parameters relate. Linear analysis was then done to show the effect that increasing amounts of precipitation has on the fluxes in an attempt to quantify any possible relationships. Eventually the goal is to be able to accurately partition these fluxes on the small scale and input them as a grid of data into mesoscale numerical models