Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres

Observations of the atmospheric boundary layer height under marine upstream flow conditions at a coastal site

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Abstract

[1] We investigate several lidar-type instruments and methodologies for boundary layer height (BLH) estimation during 2 days at a coastal site for winds that experience marine upstream flow conditions. Wavelet and profile fitting procedures on the aerosol backscatter signals from a ceilometer and an aerosol lidar reveal similar BLHs, but their agreement depends on the presence of clouds and the instrument signal, among others. BLHs derived by a threshold on the carrier-to-noise profiles of a wind lidar agree well with those derived by using a threshold on the backscatter profile of the ceilometer and are used as reference for a 10 day BLH intercomparison. Furthermore, the BLHs from the aerosol analysis are comparable to those derived from wind speed and direction profiles from combined mast/wind lidar measurements. The BLH derived from simulations performed with the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model shows similar behavior compared to the lidar observations. The seasonal diurnal variation of the BLH for 2010, derived from the wind lidar and ceilometer thresholds, shows similar BLHs but generally higher values compared to that from WRF. No clear BLH diurnal variation is observed neither from the observations nor from the WRF model outputs, except in summer for the latter. Both observations and WRF model simulations reveal higher BLHs during autumn compared to spring time. These BLHs are used to evaluate the intra-annual variation and show high peaks in September, November, and February.

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