Evaluation of convective boundary layer height estimates using radars operating at different frequency bands

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Franck , A , Moisseev , D , Vakkari , V , Leskinen , M , Lampilahti , J , Kerminen , V-M & O'Connor , E 2021 , ' Evaluation of convective boundary layer height estimates using radars operating at different frequency bands ' , Atmospheric Measurement Techniques , vol. 14 , no. 11 , pp. 7341–7353 . https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-14-7341-2021

Title: Evaluation of convective boundary layer height estimates using radars operating at different frequency bands
Author: Franck, Anna; Moisseev, Dmitri; Vakkari, Ville; Leskinen, Matti; Lampilahti, Janne; Kerminen, Veli-Matti; O'Connor, Ewan
Contributor organization: Institute for Atmospheric and Earth System Research (INAR)
Radar Meteorology group
Global Atmosphere-Earth surface feedbacks
Date: 2021-11-24
Language: eng
Number of pages: 13
Belongs to series: Atmospheric Measurement Techniques
ISSN: 1867-1381
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-14-7341-2021
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/337641
Abstract: Knowledge of the atmospheric boundary layer state and evolution is important for understanding air pollution and low-level cloud development, among other things. There are a number of instruments and methods that are currently used to estimate boundary layer height (BLH). However, no single instrument is capable of providing BLH measurements in all weather conditions. We proposed a method to derive a daytime convective BLH using clear air echoes in radar observations and investigated the consistency of these retrievals between different radar frequencies. We utilized data from three vertically pointing radars that are available at the SMEAR II station in Finland, i.e. the C band (5 GHz), Ka band (35 GHz) and W band (94 GHz). The Ka- or W-band cloud radars are an integral part of cloud profiling stations of pan-European Aerosol, Clouds and Trace Gases Research Infrastructure (ACTRIS). Our method will be utilized at ACTRIS stations to serve as an additional estimate of the BLH during summer months. During this period, insects and Bragg scatter are often responsible for clear air echoes recorded by weather and cloud radars. To retrieve a BLH, we suggested a mechanism to separate passive and independently flying insects that works for all analysed frequency bands. At the lower frequency (the C band) insect scattering has been separated from Bragg scattering using a combination of the radar reflectivity factor and linear depolarization ratio. Retrieved values of the BLH from all radars are in a good agreement when compared to the BLH obtained with the co-located HALO Doppler lidar and ERA5 reanalysis data set. Our method showed some underestimation of the BLH after nighttime heavy precipitation yet demonstrated a potential to serve as a reliable method to obtain a BLH during clear-sky days. Additionally, the entrainment zone was observed by the C-band radar above the CBL in the form of a Bragg scatter layer. Aircraft observations of vertical profiles of potential temperature and water vapour concentration, collected in the vicinity of the radar, demonstrated some agreement with the Bragg scatter layer.
Subject: 114 Physical sciences
Peer reviewed: Yes
Rights: cc_by
Usage restriction: openAccess
Self-archived version: publishedVersion

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