Properties of the wind field within the Oklahoma City Park Avenue Street Canyon. Part I: Mean flow and turbulence statistics

M. A. Nelson, E. R. Pardyjak, J. C. Klewicki, S. U. Pol, M. J. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Velocity data were obtained from sonic anemometer measurements within an east-west-running street canyon located in the urban core of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, during the Joint Urban 2003 field campaign. These data were used to explore the directional dependence of the mean flow and turbulence within a real-world street canyon. The along-canyon vortex that is a key characteristic of idealized street canyon studies was not evident in the mean wind data, although the sensor placement was not optimized for the detection of such structures. Instead, surface wind measurements imply that regions of horizontal convergence and divergence exist within the canopy, which are likely caused by taller buildings diverting the winds aloft down into the canopy. The details of these processes appear to be dependent on relatively small perturbations in the prevailing wind direction. Turbulence intensities within the canyon interior appeared to have more dependence on prevailing wind direction than they did in the intersections. Turbulence in the intersections tended to be higher than was observed in the canyon interior. This behavior implies that there are some fundamental differences between the flow structure found in North American-style cities where building heights are typically heterogeneous and that found in European-style cities, which generally have more homogeneous building heights. It is hypothesized that the greater three-dimensionality caused by the heterogeneous building heights increases the ventilation of the urban canopy through mean advective transport as well as enhanced turbulence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2038-2054
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2007


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