High-resolution humidity profiles retrieved from wind profiler radar measurements

Saïd, Frédérique; Campistron, Bernard; Di Girolamo, Paolo

The retrieval of humidity profiles from wind profiler radars has already been documented in the past 30 years and is known to be neither as straightforward and nor as robust as the retrieval of the wind velocity. The main constraint to retrieve the humidity profile is the necessity to combine measurements from the wind profiler and additional measurements (such as observations from radiosoundings at a coarser time resolution). Furthermore, the method relies on some assumptions and simplifications that restrict the scope of its application. The first objective of this paper is to identify the obstacles and limitations and solve them, or at least define the field of applicability. To improve the method, we propose using the radar capacity to detect transition levels, such as the top level of the boundary layer, marked by a maximum in the radar reflectivity. This forces the humidity profile from the free troposphere and from the boundary layer to coincide at this level, after an optimization of the calibration coefficients, and reduces the error. The resulting mean bias affecting the specific humidity profile never exceeds 0.25 g kginline-formula−1. The second objective is to explore the capability of the algorithm to retrieve the humidity vertical profiles for an operational purpose by comparing the results with observations from a Raman lidar.

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Saïd, Frédérique / Campistron, Bernard / Di Girolamo, Paolo: High-resolution humidity profiles retrieved from wind profiler radar measurements. 2018. Copernicus Publications.

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Rechteinhaber: Frédérique Saïd et al.

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