3.5 Cloud Fraction and Cloud Base Measurements from Scanning Doppler Lidar during WFIP-2

Monday, 8 January 2018: 3:00 PM
Room 15 (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Timothy A. Bonin, NOAA/CIRES, Boulder, CO; and C. N. Long, K. Lantz, A. Choukulkar, Y. Pichugina, B. J. McCarty, R. M. Banta, W. A. Brewer, and M. Marquis

The second Wind Forecast Improvement Project (WFIP-2) consisted of an 18-month field deployment of a variety of instrumentation with the principle objective of validating and improving NWP forecasts for wind energy applications in complex terrain. As a part of the set of instrumentation, several scanning Doppler lidars were installed across the study domain to primarily measure profiles of the mean wind and turbulence at high-resolution within the planetary boundary layer. In addition to these measurements, Doppler lidar observations can be used to directly quantify the cloud fraction and cloud base, since clouds appear as a high backscatter return. These supplementary measurements of clouds can then be used to validate cloud cover and other properties in NWP output.

Herein, statistics of the cloud fraction and cloud base height from the duration of WFIP-2 are presented. Additionally, these cloud fraction estimates from Doppler lidar are compared with similar measurements from a Total Sky Imager and Radiative Flux Analysis (RadFlux) retrievals at the Wasco site. During mostly cloudy to overcast conditions, estimates of the cloud radiating temperature from the RadFlux methodology are also compared with Doppler lidar measured cloud base height.

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