Diurnal cycle of short-term fluctuations of integrated water vapour above Switzerland

Hocke, Klemens; Bernet, Leonie; Hagen, Jonas; Murk, Axel; Renker, Matthias; Mätzler, Christian

The TROpospheric WAter RAdiometer (TROWARA) continuously measures integrated water vapour (IWV) with a time resolution of 6 s at Bern in Switzerland. During summer, we often see that IWV has temporal fluctuations during daytime, while the nighttime data are without fluctuations. The data analysis is focused on the year 2010, where TROWARA has a good data quality without data gaps. We derive the spectrum of the IWV fluctuations in the period range from about 1 to 100 min. The FFT spectrum with a window size of 3¬†months leads to a serious underestimation of the spectral amplitudes of the fluctuations. Thus, we apply a band pass filtering method to derive the amplitudes as a function of period Tp. The amplitudes are proportional to Tp0.5. Another method is the calculation of the moving standard deviation with time window lengths from about 1 to 100 min. Here, we get similar results to those with the band pass filtering method. At all periods, the IWV fluctuations are strongest during summer, while they are smallest during winter. We derive the diurnal variation of the short-term IWV fluctuations by applying a moving standard deviation with a window length of 10 min. The daily cycle is strongest during the summer season, with standard deviations up to 0.22 mm at about 14:00 CET. The diurnal cycle disappears during wintertime. A similar seasonal behaviour is observed in the diurnal cycle of latent heat flux as provided by the Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis for Research and Applications, version 2 (MERRA-2 reanalysis) at Bern. Further, the 3 d averages of the latent heat flux and the magnitude of the short-term IWV variability show a strong correlation at Bern in 2010 (r=0.82 with a 95 % confidence interval from 0.75 to 0.87). Thus, we suggest that the diurnal cycle of short-term IWV fluctuations at Bern is mainly caused by large convective heating during daytime in summer.

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Hocke, Klemens / Bernet, Leonie / Hagen, Jonas / et al: Diurnal cycle of short-term fluctuations of integrated water vapour above Switzerland. 2019. Copernicus Publications.

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