Improved observations of turbulence dissipation rates from wind profiling radars
- 1University of Colorado, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory, Physical Sciences Division, 325 Broadway, Boulder, CO 80305-3337, USA
- 2NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory, Physical Sciences Division, 325 Broadway, Boulder, CO 80305-3337, USA
Abstract. Observations of turbulence dissipation rates in the planetary boundary layer are crucial for validation of parameterizations in numerical weather prediction models. However, because dissipation rates are difficult to obtain, they are infrequently measured through the depth of the boundary layer. For this reason, demonstrating the ability of commonly used wind profiling radars (WPRs) to estimate this quantity would be greatly beneficial. During the XPIA field campaign at the Boulder Atmospheric Observatory, two WPRs operated in an optimized configuration, using high spectral resolution for increased accuracy of Doppler spectral width, specifically chosen to estimate turbulence from a vertically pointing beam. Multiple post-processing techniques, including different numbers of spectral averages and peak processing algorithms for calculating spectral moments, were evaluated to determine the most accurate procedures for estimating turbulence dissipation rates using the information contained in the Doppler spectral width, using sonic anemometers mounted on a 300 m tower for validation. The optimal settings were determined, producing a low bias, which was later corrected. Resulting estimations of turbulence dissipation rates correlated well (R2 = 0. 54 and 0. 41) with the sonic anemometers, and profiles up to 2 km from the 449 MHz WPR and 1 km from the 915 MHz WPR were observed.