The National Weather Service’s Ceilometer Planetary Boundary Layer Project
For the test, a network of CL31 ceilometers around the Washington DC metropolitan area was assembled. The CL31 ceilometers were set up separate from other ASOS equipment at the SFSC, HUBC and the Atmospheric Research Laboratory (ARL) NOAA Center of Weather and Climate Prediction (NCWCP) campuses. At these locations, profiles of backscatter were collected for a year and used to determine PBL heights and examine data quality. High-powered LIDAR systems like the Micro Pulse LIDAR (MPL) and the Howard University Raman Lidar (HURL) as well as newer versions of the Vaisala ceilometer (CL51) were used to evaluate the quality of the backscatter data, and radiosonde soundings were used to evaluate reliability of derived PBL heights. Three PBL height algorithms were used with the CL31 ceilometers. They are Compton et al. 2013, Hicks et al. 2014 and Vaisala's BL-View algorithms.