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Volker Wulfmeyer, Shravan Kumar Muppa, Andreas Behrendt, Eva Hammann, Florian Späth, Zbigniew Sorbjan, David D. Turner, and R. Michael Hardesty

Abstract

Atmospheric variables in the convective boundary layer (CBL), which are critical for turbulence parameterizations in weather and climate models, are assessed. These include entrainment fluxes, higher-order moments of humidity, potential temperature, and vertical wind, as well as dissipation rates. Theoretical relationships between the integral scales, gradients, and higher-order moments of atmospheric variables, fluxes, and dissipation rates are developed mainly focusing on the entrainment layer (EL) at the top of the CBL. These equations form the starting point for tests of and new approaches in CBL turbulence parameterizations. For the investigation of these relationships, an observational approach using a synergy of ground-based water vapor, temperature, and wind lidar systems is proposed. These systems measure instantaneous vertical profiles with high temporal and spatial resolution throughout the CBL including the EL. The resolution of these systems permits the simultaneous measurement of gradients and fluctuations of these atmospheric variables. For accurate analyses of the gradients and the shapes of turbulence profiles, the lidar system performances are very important. It is shown that each lidar profile can be characterized very well with respect to bias and system noise and that the constant bias has negligible effect on the measurement of turbulent fluctuations. It is demonstrated how different gradient relationships can be measured and tested with the proposed lidar synergy within operational measurements or new field campaigns. Particularly, a novel approach is introduced for measuring the rate of destruction of humidity and temperature variances, which is an important component of the variance budget equations.

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