Boundary Layer, Urban Meteorology and Land-Surface Processes

Generalized Relationships in the Stable Boundary Layer Derived from High-Resolution Doppler Lidar and Instrumented Tower Data

Robert M. Banta
Boulder, CO

02 December 2013, 4:00 PM

National Weather Center, Room 5600
120 David L. Boren Blvd.
University of Oklahoma
Norman, OK

The stable boundary layer (SBL) occupies about half of the diurnal cycle, yet is still poorly understood and even more poorly modeled. Suppression of mixing in the SBL allows strong flow features, strong perturbations, and strong gradients (at varying length and time scales) to persist. As a result, it has been very difficult to find and verify generalized relationships in the SBL, and a critical question becomes, is this even possible? A major contribution to the lack of understanding the SBL has been an inability to accurately measure profiles of mean and especially useful turbulent quantities above the layer conveniently measured by instrumented towers. Recently comparisons of high-resolution Doppler-lidar wind data against tower-mounted anemometer data have shown that mean-wind and turbulent velocity-variance (related to TKE) data from the lidar verified well, so that profiles of these quantities through the lowest several hundred meters of the atmosphere can be used to probe the SBL. Studies in the Great Plains using high-quality Doppler lidar wind and turbulence profiles coupled with high-quality instrumented tower data have yielded generalized relationships between mean and turbulence variables across stability regimes, to show that such generalizations may exist and to provide insight into SBL processes. These relationships involve the co-evolution of the mean and turbulence profile structure of the low-level jet, nearly always a feature of the SBL. They will be presented as part of a generalized picture of SBL-LLJ processes.

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