Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service

Research & Development Treesearch

Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help - We Participate  Government Made Easy

Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (6.2 MB)

Related Research Highlights

Picture of High Resolution Weather for Fire Risk Assessment
High Resolution Weather for Fire Risk Assessment

Title: Numerical simulations of island effects on airflow and weather during the summer over the island of Oahu

Author: Van Nguyen, Hiep; Chen, Yie-Leng; Fujioka, Francis;

Date: 2010

Source: Monthly Weather Review 138:2253-2280

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: The high-resolution (1.5 km) nonhydrostatic fifth-generation Pennsylvania StateUniversity–National Center for Atmospheric Research (PSU–NCAR) Mesoscale Model (MM5) and an advanced land surface model (LSM) are used to study the island-induced airflow and weather for the island of Oahu, Hawaii, under summer trade wind conditions.

Despite Oahu’s relatively small area (1536 km2), there are considerable spatial variations in horizontal distribution of thermodynamic fields related to terrain, airflow, rain, cloud, and ground cover. The largest diurnal variations in temperature and moisture occur in the lee sides of mountains, especially along the western leeside coast. The island-scale surface airflow is also significantly affected by terrain and land surface forcing. The downslope winds above the leeside slopes of both the Ko’olau and Waianae Mountains are simulated with significant diurnal variations with the strongest downslope winds just before sunrise.

The timing of diurnal rainfall maxima over the Ko’olau Mountains is closely related to vertical motions. The early morning rainfall maximum on the windward side is caused by anomalous rising motion due to significant flow deceleration when the land surface is the coolest. The evening rainfall maximumafter sunset is related to anomalous orographic lifting due to stronger winds aloft. In the early afternoon, winds aloft are relatively weak with a relatively high level of free convection (LFC) because of vertical mixing. As a result, the rainfall over the Ko’olau Mountains exhibits an afternoon minimum. The westerly reversed flow off the western leeside coast in the afternoon is mainly thermally driven and related to land surface heating superimposed by latent heat release of persistent orographic precipitation over the Ko’olau Mountains. Rainfall along the western leeside slopes has a late afternoon maximum due to the development of the onshore/upslope flow.

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.



Van Nguyen, Hiep; Chen, Yie-Leng; Fujioka, Francis. 2010. Numerical simulations of island effects on airflow and weather during the summer over the island of Oahu. Monthly Weather Review 138: 2253-2280.


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.