9B.4 Evaluation of a real-time analysis of the boundary layer height

Wednesday, 26 January 2011: 11:15 AM
615-617 (Washington State Convention Center)
Caterina M. Tassone, SAIC, Camp Springs, MD; and M. Tsidulko, Y. Zhu, J. T. Mcqueen, and G. DiMego

The height of the Planetary Boundary Layer is a critical input for estimating contaminant concentrations in atmospheric dispersion modeling. The goals of the project are two fold: 1) Computing, evaluating and inter-comparing reliable estimates of PBL heights from various ground-based and satellite instruments, and 2) developing a real-time analysis of PBL height over the Continental U.S. by ingesting the quality controlled observations into the NOAA Real Time Mesoscale Analysis (RTMA). The analysis uses the Rapid Update Cycle (RUC) 13 km model boundary layer height downscaled to the 5-km RTMA grid as a background first guess. Observations are derived PBL heights from Radiosonde Observations (RAOBS) and Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS). A potential additional data source is PBL heights from the CAP profilers that are currently undergoing evaluation. In addition, experiments ingesting MPLNET day-time and COSMIC over water derived PBL height will be evaluated. In order to assess the quality of the product, the PBL analysis based only on RAOBS and ACARS derived PBL height on a 5-km grid will be verified against independent observations.

In particular, PBL heights derived directly from ground-based wind profilers in California during the CALNEX 2010 air quality experiment are used to evaluate the analysis. In addition, PBL heights derived from MPLNET (NASA Micro-Pulse Lidar Network) and satellite based NASA AURA CALIPSO (Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations) will be used as independent observations.

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