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Christine L. Haman, Barry Lefer, and Gary A. Morris

Abstract

Boundary layer height is estimated during a 21-month period in Houston, Texas, using continuous ceilometer observations and the minimum-gradient method. A comparison with over 60 radiosondes indicates overall agreement between ceilometer- and radiosonde-estimated PBL and residual layer heights. Additionally, the ceilometer-estimated PBL heights agree well with 31 vertical profiles of ozone. Difficulty detecting the PBL height occurs immediately following a frontal system with precipitation, during periods with high wind speeds, and in the early evening when convection is weakening, a new stable surface layer is forming, and the lofted aerosols detected by the lidar do not represent the PBL. Long-term diurnal observations of the PBL height indicate nocturnal PBL heights range from approximately 100 to 300 m throughout the year, while the convective PBL displays more seasonal and daily variability typically ranging from 1100 m in the winter to 2000 m in the summer.

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