Using WSR-88D data and insolation estimates to determine convective boundary layer depth

Kimberly L. Elmore, Pamela L. Heinselman, David J. Stensrud

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Prior work shows that Weather Surveillance Radar-1988 Doppler (WSR-88D) clear-air reflectivity can be used to determine convective boundary layer (CBL) depth. Based on that work, two simple linear regressions are developed that provide CBL depth. One requires only clear-air radar reflectivity from a single 4.58 elevation scan, whereas the other additionally requires the total, clear-sky insolation at the radar site, derived from the radar location and local time. Because only the most recent radar scan is used, the CBL depth can, in principle, be computed for every scan. The "true" CBL depth used to develop the models is based on human interpretation of the 915-MHz profiler data. The regressions presented in this work are developed using 17 summer days near Norman, Oklahoma, that have been previously investigated. The resulting equations and algorithms are applied to a testing dataset consisting of 7 days not previously analyzed. Though the regression using insolation estimates performs best, errors frombothmodels are on the order of the expected error of the profiler-estimatedCBLdepth values. Of the two regressions, the one that uses insolation yields CBL depth estimates with an RMSE of 208 m, while the regression with only clear-air radar reflectivity yields CBL depth estimates with an RMSE of 330 m.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)581-588
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology
Volume29
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 8 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ocean Engineering
  • Atmospheric Science

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