Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2021-363
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2021-363

  20 Dec 2021

20 Dec 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal AMT.

Evaluating daytime planetary boundary-layer height estimations resolved by both active and passive remote sensing instruments during the CHEESEHEAD19 field campaign

James B. Duncan Jr.1,2,a, Laura Bianco1,2, Bianca Adler1,2, Tyler Bell3, Irina V. Djalalova1,2, Laura Riihimaki1,4, Joseph Sedlar1,4, Elizabeth N. Smith5, David D. Turner6, Timothy J. Wagner7, and James M. Wilczak2 James B. Duncan Jr. et al.
  • 1University of Colorado/Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, Boulder, 80305, CO, USA
  • 2National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Physical Science Laboratory, Boulder, 80305, CO, USA
  • 3University of Oklahoma, Norman, 73071, OK, USA
  • 4National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Global Monitoring Laboratory, 80305, Boulder, CO, USA
  • 5National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Severe Storms Laboratory, Norman, 73072, OK, USA
  • 6National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Global Systems Laboratory, Boulder, 80305, CO, USA
  • 7Space Science and Engineering Center, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Madison, 53806, WI, USA
  • anow at: WindESCo, Burlington, 01803, MA, USA

Abstract. During the Chequamegon Heterogeneous Ecosystem Energy-balance Study Enabled by a High-density Extensive Array of Detectors 2019 (CHEESEHEAD19) field campaign, held in the summer of 2019 in northern Wisconsin, U.S.A., active and passive ground-based remote sensing instruments were deployed to understand the response of the planetary boundary layer to heterogeneous land surface forcing. These instruments include Radar Wind Profilers, Microwave Radiometers, Atmospheric Emitted Radiance Interferometers, Ceilometers, High Spectral Resolution Lidars, Doppler Lidars, and Collaborative Lower Atmospheric Modelling Profiling Systems that combine several of these instruments. In this study, these ground-based remote sensing instruments are used to estimate the height of the daytime planetary boundary layer, and their performance is compared against independent boundary-layer depth estimates obtained from radiosondes launched as part of the field campaign. The impact of clouds (in particular boundary layer clouds) on boundary-layer depth is also investigated.

We found that while overall all instruments are able to provide reasonable boundary-layer depth estimates, each of them shows strengths and weaknesses under certain conditions. For example, Radar Wind Profilers perform well during cloud free conditions, and Microwave Radiometers and Atmospheric Emitted Radiance Interferometers have a very good agreement during all conditions, but are limited by the smoothness of the retrieved thermodynamic profiles. The estimates from Ceilometers and High Spectral Resolution Lidars can be hindered by the presence of elevated aerosol layers or clouds, and the multi-instrument retrieval from the Collaborative Lower Atmospheric Modelling Profiling Systems can be constricted to a limited height range in low aerosol conditions.

James B. Duncan Jr. et al.

Status: open (until 24 Jan 2022)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Review of Evaluating daytime planetary boundary-layer height estimations resolved by both active and passive remote sensing instruments during the CHEESEHEAD19 field campaign', Anonymous Referee #1, 07 Jan 2022 reply
  • RC2: 'Comment on amt-2021-363', Anonymous Referee #3, 10 Jan 2022 reply
  • RC3: 'Comment on amt-2021-363', Anonymous Referee #2, 10 Jan 2022 reply

James B. Duncan Jr. et al.

James B. Duncan Jr. et al.

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Short summary
In this study, several ground-based remote sensing instruments are used to estimate the height of the daytime planetary boundary layer, and their performance is compared against independent boundary-layer depth estimates obtained from radiosondes launched as part of the CHEESEHEAD19 field campaign. The impact of clouds (in particular boundary layer clouds) on boundary-layer depth is also investigated.