Boundary-layer height and surface stability at Hyytiälä, Finland, in ERA5 and observations

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Sinclair , V A , Ritvanen , J , Urbancic , G , Statnaia , I , Batrak , Y , Moisseev , D & Kurppa , M 2022 , ' Boundary-layer height and surface stability at Hyytiälä, Finland, in ERA5 and observations ' , Atmospheric Measurement Techniques , vol. 15 , no. 10 , pp. 3075-3103 .

Title: Boundary-layer height and surface stability at Hyytiälä, Finland, in ERA5 and observations
Author: Sinclair, Victoria Anne; Ritvanen, Jenna; Urbancic, Gabin; Statnaia, Irina; Batrak, Yurii; Moisseev, Dmitri; Kurppa, Mona
Contributor organization: Institute for Atmospheric and Earth System Research (INAR)
Department of Physics
Radar Meteorology group
Urban meteorology
INAR Physics
Date: 2022-05-18
Language: eng
Number of pages: 29
Belongs to series: Atmospheric Measurement Techniques
ISSN: 1867-1381
Abstract: We investigate the boundary-layer (BL) height at Hyytiala in southern Finland diagnosed from radiosonde observations, a microwave radiometer (MWR) and ERAS reanalysis. Four different, pre-existing algorithms are used to diagnose the BL height from the radiosondes. The diagnosed BL height is sensitive to the method used. The level of agreement, and the sign of systematic bias between the four different methods, depends on the surface-layer stability. For very unstable situations, the median BL height diagnosed from the radiosondes varies from 600 to 1500 m depending on which method is applied. Good agreement between the BL height in ERAS and diagnosed from the radiosondes using Richardson-number-based methods is found for almost all stability classes, suggesting that ERAS has adequate vertical resolution near the surface to resolve the BL structure. However, ERAS overestimates the BL height in very stable conditions, highlighting the ongoing challenge for numerical models to correctly resolve the stable BL. Furthermore, ERAS BL height differs most from the radiosondes at 18:00 UTC, suggesting ERAS does not resolve the evening transition correctly. BL height estimates from the MWR are also found to be reliable in unstable situations but often are inaccurate under stable conditions when, in comparison to ERAS BL heights, they are much deeper. The errors in the MWR BL height estimates originate from the limitations of the manufacturer's algorithm for stable conditions and also the misidentification of the type of BL. A climatology of the annual and diurnal cycle of BL height, based on ERA5 data, and surface-layer stability, based on eddy covariance observations, was created. The shallowest (353 m) monthly median BL height occurs in February and the deepest (576 m) in June. In winter there is no diurnal cycle in BL height; unstable BLs are rare, yet so are very stable BLs. The shallowest BLs occur at night in spring and summer, and very stable conditions are most common at night in the warm season. Finally, using ERA5 gridded data, we determined that the BL height observed at Hyytiala is representative of most land areas in southern and central Finland. However, the spatial variability of the BL height is largest during daytime in summer, reducing the area over which BL height observations from Hyytiala would be representative.
Subject: 114 Physical sciences
1171 Geosciences
Peer reviewed: Yes
Rights: cc_by
Usage restriction: openAccess
Self-archived version: publishedVersion

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