The influence of a strong low-level temperature inversion on the occurrence of lee waves, rotors and hydraulic jumps has been investigated using high resolution numerical model simulations. The aim of the work is to develop tools for forecasting hazardous winds downstream of mountains. Two-dimensional simulations were conducted for a range of inversion heights and strengths and a fixed hill shape; lee waves, rotors and hydraulic jumps were found to occur. The flow type depends largely on the ratio of mountain height to inversion height and the upstream Froude number. A flow regime diagram based on these two parameters has been constructed and suggests that rotors could be forecast using upstream profiles, which are generally readily available from numerical weather prediction models.
The applicability of the regime diagram for two-dimensional flow to flows over real terrain has been tested using three-dimensional simulations of flows over East Falkland, South Atlantic, under a range of upstream conditions. The flow type is found to be determined largely by the upstream profiles of wind and temperature, and the maximum height of orography directly upstream, indicating that the flow regime diagram can be used to predict flow type downstream of such terrain. Various three-dimensional flow phenomena occur, such as flow channelling through gaps, and could be taken into account to improve the information available from the regime diagram.