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Assimilating Coherent Doppler Lidar Measurements into a Model of the Atmospheric Boundary Layer. Part II: Sensitivity Analyses

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  • 1 Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado
  • | 2 NOAA/Environmental Technology Laboratory, Boulder, Colorado
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Abstract

A series of trials are performed to evaluate the sensitivity of a 4DVAR algorithm for retrieval of microscale wind and temperature fields from single-Doppler lidar data. These trials use actual Doppler lidar measurements to examine the sensitivity of the retrievals to changes in 1) the prescribed eddy diffusivity profile, 2) the first-guess or base-state virtual potential temperature profile, 3) the phase and duration of the assimilation period, and 4) the grid resolution.

The retrieved fields are well correlated among trials over a reasonable range of variation in the eddy diffusivity coefficients. However, the retrievals are quite sensitive to changes in the gradients of the first-guess or base-state virtual potential temperature profile, and to changes in the phase (start time) and duration of the assimilation period. Retrievals using different grid resolutions exhibit similar larger-scale structure, but differ considerably in the smaller scales. Increasing the grid resolution significantly improved the fit to the radial velocity measurements, improved the convergence rate, and produced variances and fluxes that were in better agreement with tower-based sonic anemometers.

Horizontally averaged variance and heat flux profiles derived from the final time steps of all the retrievals are similar to typical large-eddy-simulation (LES) results for the convective boundary layer. However, all retrieved statistics show significant nonstationarity because fluctuations in the initial state tend to be confined within the boundaries of the scan.

Corresponding author address: Rob Newsom, Harris Corporation, P.O. Box 37, MS: W3-3330, Melbourne, FL 32902. Email: rnewsom@harris.com

Abstract

A series of trials are performed to evaluate the sensitivity of a 4DVAR algorithm for retrieval of microscale wind and temperature fields from single-Doppler lidar data. These trials use actual Doppler lidar measurements to examine the sensitivity of the retrievals to changes in 1) the prescribed eddy diffusivity profile, 2) the first-guess or base-state virtual potential temperature profile, 3) the phase and duration of the assimilation period, and 4) the grid resolution.

The retrieved fields are well correlated among trials over a reasonable range of variation in the eddy diffusivity coefficients. However, the retrievals are quite sensitive to changes in the gradients of the first-guess or base-state virtual potential temperature profile, and to changes in the phase (start time) and duration of the assimilation period. Retrievals using different grid resolutions exhibit similar larger-scale structure, but differ considerably in the smaller scales. Increasing the grid resolution significantly improved the fit to the radial velocity measurements, improved the convergence rate, and produced variances and fluxes that were in better agreement with tower-based sonic anemometers.

Horizontally averaged variance and heat flux profiles derived from the final time steps of all the retrievals are similar to typical large-eddy-simulation (LES) results for the convective boundary layer. However, all retrieved statistics show significant nonstationarity because fluctuations in the initial state tend to be confined within the boundaries of the scan.

Corresponding author address: Rob Newsom, Harris Corporation, P.O. Box 37, MS: W3-3330, Melbourne, FL 32902. Email: rnewsom@harris.com

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