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Christian Herold, Dietrich Althausen, Detlef Müller, Matthias Tesche, Patric Seifert, Ronny Engelmann, Cyrille Flamant, Rohini Bhawar, and Paolo Di Girolamo

Abstract

Water vapor measurements with the multiwavelength Raman lidar Backscatter Extinction Lidar-Ratio Temperature Humidity Profiling Apparatus (BERTHA) were performed during the Convective and Orographically-induced Precipitation Study (COPS) in the Black Forest, Germany, from June to August 2007. For quality assurance, profiles of the water vapor mixing ratio measured with BERTHA are compared to simultaneous measurements of a radiosonde and an airborne differential absorption lidar (DIAL) on 31 July 2007. The differences from the radiosonde observations are found to be on average 1.5% and 2.5% in the residual layer and in the free troposphere, respectively. During the two overflights at 1937 and 2018 UTC, the differences from the DIAL results are −2.2% and −3.7% in the residual layer and 2.1% and −2.6% in the free troposphere. After this performance check, short-range forecasts from the German Meteorological Service’s (Deutscher Wetterdienst, DWD) version of the Consortium for Small-Scale Modeling (COSMO-DE) model are compared to the BERTHA measurements for two case studies. Generally, it is found that water vapor mixing ratios from short-range forecasts are on average 7.9% drier than the values measured in the residual layer. In the free troposphere, modeled values are 9.7% drier than the measurements.

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Matthias Grzeschik, Hans-Stefan Bauer, Volker Wulfmeyer, Dirk Engelbart, Ulla Wandinger, Ina Mattis, Dietrich Althausen, Ronny Engelmann, Matthias Tesche, and Andrea Riede

Abstract

The impact of water vapor observations on mesoscale initial fields provided by a triangle of Raman lidar systems covering an area of about 200 km × 200 km is investigated. A test case during the Lindenberg Campaign for Assessment of Humidity and Cloud Profiling Systems and its Impact on High-Resolution Modeling (LAUNCH-2005) was chosen. Evaluation of initial water vapor fields derived from ECMWF analysis revealed that in the model the highly variable vertical structure of water vapor profiles was not recovered and vertical gradients were smoothed out. Using a 3-h data assimilation window and a resolution of 10–30 min, continuous water vapor data from these observations were assimilated in the fifth-generation Pennsylvania State University–NCAR Mesoscale Model (MM5) by means of a four-dimensional variational data analysis (4DVAR). A strong correction of the vertical structure and the absolute values of the initial water vapor field of the order of 1 g kg−1 was found. This occurred mainly upstream of the lidar systems within an area, which was comparable with the domain covered by the lidar systems. The correction of the water vapor field was validated using independent global positioning system (GPS) sensors. Much better agreement to GPS zenith wet delay was achieved with the initial water vapor field after 4DVAR. The impact region was transported with the mean wind and was still visible after 4 h of free forecast time.

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