Nocturnal boundary layer

From Glossary of Meteorology



nocturnal boundary layer

The cool layer of air adjacent to the ground that forms at night.

At night under clear skies, radiation to space cools the land surface, which in turn cools the adjacent air through processes of molecular conduction, turbulence, and radiative transfer. This causes a stable boundary layer to form and grow to depths of a few hundreds of meters, depending on the season. Many interacting processes can occur within the statically stable nocturnal boundary layer: patchy sporadic turbulence, internal gravity waves, drainage flows, inertial oscillations, and nocturnal jets.