Quote: 1) drag/lift are appropriate terms (I am afterall a chemical engineer), although drag could be a result of friction between the ground and molecules in the air... I guess the immediate difference is that friction dissipates the energy via heat loss while drag generates turbulence as you mentioned.
Actually, frictional drag is probably the most appropriate term. Essentially, what I was trying to say is that the greater friction over land slows the wind speed down. However, the higher wind speeds above the surface (where there is less friction) are brought down to the surface via downdrafts. Additionally, the meso-vortices I am talking about are not the result of drag, but moreso from eyewall dynamics. I am not an atmospheric scientist, so I very well may be incorrect. Here are some links.
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