A small UHF radar wind profiler was operated over a 40-day period during the summer of 1990 at a site on the windward coast of the island of Hawaii. It provided continuous measurements of winds up to the height of the trade-wind inversion, which varied in altitude from about 2 to 4 km during the course of the experiments. The inversion was readily discernible in the data as an elevated layer of high reflectivity, caused by the sharp gradient of refractive index at that level. With a wavelength of 33 cm, the profiler has about the same sensitivity to light rain as to moderately reflective clear air. The data have provided unexpected information on rain development, wave motions on the inversion, sustained vertical air motions at low levels, and interactions between convection and the inversion echo. This paper gives examples of some of the observations, indicating the wide range of applications of boundary-layer profilers.
*Department of Meteorology, McGill University, Montreal, Canada
+Aeronomy Laboratory, NOAA, Boulder, Colorado