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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union

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doi:10.5194/amt-2016-322
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
04 Oct 2016
Review status
This discussion paper is under review for the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT).
Improved Observations of Turbulence Dissipation Rates from Wind Profiling Radars
Katherine McCaffrey1,2, Laura Bianco1,2, and James M. Wilczak2 1University of Colorado, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory, Physical Sciences Division, 325 Broadway, Boulder, CO 80305-3337, USA
2NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory, Physical Sciences Division, 325 Broadway, Boulder, CO 80305-3337, USA
Abstract. Observations of turbulence in the planetary boundary layer are crucial for validation of parameterizations in numerical weather prediction models. However, these observations are sparse. For this reason, demonstrating the ability of commonly-used wind profiling radars (WPRs) to measure turbulence dissipation rates would be greatly beneficial. During the XPIA field campaign at the Boulder Atmospheric Observatory, two WPRs operated in an optimized configuration, using high spectral resolution for increased accuracy of Doppler spectral width, specifically chosen to measure turbulence from a vertically-pointing beam only. Multiple post-processing techniques, including different numbers of spectral averages and peak-processing algorithms for calculating spectral moments, were analyzed to determine the most accurate procedures for measuring turbulence dissipation rates using the information contained in the Doppler spectral width, and compared to sonic anemometers mounted on a 300-meter tower. The optimal settings were determined, producing a constant low bias, which was later corrected. Resulting measurements of turbulence dissipation rates correlated well (R2 = 0.57) with sonic anemometers, and profiles up to 2 km from the 449-MHz WPR and 1 km from the 915-MHz WPR were observed.

Citation: McCaffrey, K., Bianco, L., and Wilczak, J. M.: Improved Observations of Turbulence Dissipation Rates from Wind Profiling Radars, Atmos. Meas. Tech. Discuss., doi:10.5194/amt-2016-322, in review, 2016.
Katherine McCaffrey et al.
Katherine McCaffrey et al.
Katherine McCaffrey et al.

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Short summary
In this manuscript, we use two wind profiling radars, operating along side a highly-instrumented 300-m meteorological tower, to observe turbulence dissipation rates in the planetary boundary layer from an optimized performance set-up. Analysis of post-processing techniques, including spectral averaging and moments' calculation methods, shows the optimal parameters which result in good agreement, especially after bias corrections, with sonic anemometers on the tall tower.
In this manuscript, we use two wind profiling radars, operating along side a highly-instrumented...
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