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Mu-King Tsay, Ting-I. Wang, R. S. Lawrence, G. R. Ochs, and R. B. Fritz

Abstract

In a cooperative field study of the planetary boundary layer, three optical wind sensors were placed around a 300 m meteorological tower in a 450 m equilateral triangle 3–4 m above the terrain. It was found that the convergence measured by the three-sensor system correlates well with in situ measurements of vertical wind by anemometers located on the tower at heights up to 300 m during the occurrence of thermal plumes. By analyzing the correlation between the optically measured convergence and the vertical wind measurements made on the tower, the inversion layer, if below the top of the tower, can usually be located in the early morning when thermal plumes are active. The space-averaged horizontal wind vectors measured by the optical system have good, though not perfect, agreement with the tower measurements at the lowest layer (10 m above the ground), and with the measurements of a nearby network of surface anemometers. A comparison of the optically measured convergence with the direction of the surface horizontal wind indicates some effect of irregular terrain.

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