We introduce a simple, physically consistent method to predict nocturnal wind and temperature profiles from external forcing parameters such as the geostrophic wind. As an indicator of the radiative ‘forcing’ the net longwave radiative cooling is used as a proxy. Surface fluxes are expressed in terms of these parameters by coupling an Ekman model to a rudimentary surface energy balance. Additionally the model assumes validity of Monin-Obukhov similarity in order to predict near-surface wind and temperature profiles up to a height equal to the Obukhov length. The predictions are validated against an independent dataset that covers 11-years of observations at Cabauw, The Netherlands. It is shown that the characteristic profiles in response to external forcings are well-captured by the conceptual model. For this period the observational climatology is in close agreement with ECMWF re-analysis data. As such, the conceptual model provides an alternative tool to giving a first-order estimate of the nocturnal wind and temperature profile near the surface in cases when advanced numerical or observational infrastructure is not available.