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Accueil du site → Doctorat → Afrique du Sud → < 2000 → Local atmospheric circulations and the mesoclimate of Durban.

University of KwaZulu-Natal (1970)

Local atmospheric circulations and the mesoclimate of Durban.

Preston-Whyte, Robert Arthur

Titre : Local atmospheric circulations and the mesoclimate of Durban.

Auteur : Preston-Whyte, Robert Arthur.

Université de soutenance : University of KwaZulu-Natal

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy 1970

Résumé partiel
Rapid urban and industrial growth along the Natal coast has occurred with little concern for characteristics of local climate. In general, industrial growth has taken place without taking into account the potential for pollution transportation during the winter season ; urban areas have developed without consideration for the vital need in sub-tropical latitudes to maintain adequate mixing of the lower atmosphere. The apparent inadequacy in planning for climate has partly been due to a lack of understanding of the nature and characteristics of local wind systems. The motivation for this study stems , therefore, from the need to evaluate the influence of land-sea and topographically-induced wind systems upon certain aspects of weather and climate on the Natal coast. During summer, moist and relatively cool air is advected almost daily over the Natal coast by the sea breeze . Observations of spatial and temporal variations of these winds were made in the period 1963-69 from recording stations in the Durban area and along a 40-mile transect approximately normal to the coast at Durban. Comparable observations have not as yet been made in South Africa nor have there been a ttempts to examine the influence of sea breezes upon selected climate and weather phenomenon. In this latter connection the role of the sea br eeze is examined in two separate fields in this study, namely urban climatology and thunderstorm development. Climatic discomfort caused by the combined effect of high temperatures and humidities on the Natal coast, is at a maximum in urban areas . Since these areas are also highly populated , a need exists to evaluate the ability of the sea breeze to reduce urban temperatures by advection of cooler air over the area, by eddy diffusion of heat or by displacement of urban temperatures aw from poorly ventilated areas. Thus climatic discomfort in these areas may also be reduced. Detailed observations of the influence of the sea breeze, in particular, and wind in general, upon the spatial variation of temperature , humidity and human comfort were, therefore, undertaken in the Durban area. It is believed that this i s the first time an attempt has been made to describe the spatial distribution of a comfort index in an urban area. The results should be of interest to the a rchitect and town planner. The sea breeze, strengthened by gradient and valley Vlinds, is shown to penetrate at least 40 miles inland. In accordance with this , it is suggested that the inland invasion of marine air takes place in response to lowered pressure in adjacent inland areas in southern Natal and provides the moisture required to feed thunderstorms which develop in this area


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