The Use of Ground-Based Doppler Radars to Measure Gradients, Fluxes and Structure Parameters in Elevated Layers

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  • 1 NOAA/ERL/Wave Propagation Laboratory, Boulder, CO 80303
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Abstract

The use of ground-based clear-air Doppler radars to observe the structure of elevated atmospheric layers and associated flux quantities is described. Case studies in which radar and balloon data were available are analyzed. Doppler second-moment (velocity variance) data are used to calculate turbulent kinetic energy dissipation rate ε. Velocity variance, refractive index structure parameter and wind shear are used to estimate the refractive index gradient across elevated weather-frontal interfaces. A case is analyzed in which both acoustic-sounder and radar-sounder data are available, so profiles of structure parameter of both temperature and humidity can be deduced and used to calculate the fluxes of heat and moisture within the frontal interface. The fluxes deduced from radar data are compared with corresponding in situ measurements made by aircraft in other geographical regions. The relationship between the turbulent Prandtl number and the Richardson number emerges as very important to the generalization of the technique to the whole stable atmosphere.

Abstract

The use of ground-based clear-air Doppler radars to observe the structure of elevated atmospheric layers and associated flux quantities is described. Case studies in which radar and balloon data were available are analyzed. Doppler second-moment (velocity variance) data are used to calculate turbulent kinetic energy dissipation rate ε. Velocity variance, refractive index structure parameter and wind shear are used to estimate the refractive index gradient across elevated weather-frontal interfaces. A case is analyzed in which both acoustic-sounder and radar-sounder data are available, so profiles of structure parameter of both temperature and humidity can be deduced and used to calculate the fluxes of heat and moisture within the frontal interface. The fluxes deduced from radar data are compared with corresponding in situ measurements made by aircraft in other geographical regions. The relationship between the turbulent Prandtl number and the Richardson number emerges as very important to the generalization of the technique to the whole stable atmosphere.

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