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(Katabatic wind) - does a steep slope make katabatic wind stronger or weaker?

  • plpl747
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plpl747 created the topic: (Katabatic wind) - does a steep slope make katabatic wind stronger or weaker?

HI everyone,

I've got a questions as shown in the subject. I am asking this since I got opposite answers from different sources:

1) - According to BT's PPL, p.78, par 2, it says:
"A high plateau sloping steeply down to low terrain (is an ideal condition for the generation of katabatic wind).
This answer is comfortably acceptable.

2) - But on the other hand: According to AUS's Bureau of MET ( bmtc.moodle.com.au/mod/book/view.php?id=3766&chapterid=2273 ), the discussion on katabatic wind says:
"gentle slopes are more favorable for katabatic development because steep slopes cause the wind to become turbulent, resulting in mixing with surrounding air and the consequential breakdown of continual downward movement of cold air". This answer is also convicing.

So, which one is correct?
#1

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dav replied the topic: (Katabatic wind) - does a steep slope make katabatic wind stronger or weaker?

They are both correct, but number 1 is more correct if you are talking strictly in terms of stronger (higher velocity) winds.

It's a complicated subject with many variables, but the steeper the slope, the higher velocity (stronger) the katabatic wind will result compared to a long, gentle slope.

Gentle slopes are more favourable for the development of katabatic winds (taking into account temperature and other factors)
Take Antarctica for example, which has some of the strongest katabatic winds in the world (160+ knots) , they occur on the coast where the ice sheet drops away sharply to sea level. But the development and formation of these winds starts far inland on the higher terrain of the very cold ice sheet where it slopes gently downwards towards the coast.
#2
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plpl747 replied the topic: (Katabatic wind) - does a steep slope make katabatic wind stronger or weaker?

Thanks dav, I now get it.
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