Articles | Volume 26, issue 9
05 Sep 2008
 | 05 Sep 2008

High time resolution boundary layer description using combined remote sensing instruments

C. Gaffard, J. Nash, E. Walker, T. J. Hewison, J. Jones, and E. G. Norton

Abstract. Ground based remote sensing systems for future observation operations will allow continuous monitoring of the lower troposphere at temporal resolutions much better than every 30 min. Observations which may be considered spurious from an individual instrument can be validated or eliminated when considered in conjunction with measurements from other instruments observing at the same location. Thus, improved quality control of atmospheric profiles from microwave radiometers and wind profilers should be sought by considering the measurements from different systems together rather than individually. In future test bed deployments for future operational observing systems, this should be aided by observations from laser ceilometers and cloud radars. Observations of changes in atmospheric profiles at high temporal resolution in the lower troposphere are presented from a 12 channel microwave radiometer and 1290 MHz UHF wind profiler deployed in southern England during the CSIP field experiment in July/August 2005. The observations chosen were from days when thunderstorms occurred in southern England. Rapid changes near the surface in dry layers are considered, both when rain/hail may be falling from above and where the dry air is associated with cold pools behind organised thunderstorms. Also, short term variations in atmospheric profiles and vertical stability are presented on a day with occasional low cloud, when thunderstorms triggered 50 km down wind of the observing site Improved quality control of the individual remote sensing systems need to be implemented, examining the basic quality of the underlying observations as well as the final outputs, and so for instance eliminating ground clutter as far as possible from the basic Doppler spectra measurements of the wind profiler. In this study, this was performed manually. The potential of incorporating these types of instruments in future upper air observational networks leads to the challenge to improve the observing systems and also to exploit measurements at high temporal resolution in numerical weather prediction. These examples are intended to inform potential operational users of the changes in atmospheric structure that can be observed with the new types of observing system.