Planetary Boundary Layer Depth Estimation From Dual-Polarization Radar (16)

John Banghoff, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA

David Stensrud, Pennsylvania State University

Matthew Kumjian, Pennsylvania State University



This study investigates Bragg scatter signatures in dual-polarization radar

observations, which are defined by low differential reflectivity ZDR values, as a proxy

for planetary boundary layer (PBL) depth. Using data from the Twin Lakes, OK (KTLX)

WSR-88D, local minima in quasi-vertical profiles of ZDR are found to provide a

reasonable estimate of PBL depth when compared with depth estimates from upper air

soundings at Norman, OK (KOUN) during 2014. The 243 ZDR Bragg scatter and

upper air sounding PBL depth estimates have a correlation of 0.90 and a RMSE of 254

m. Using Bragg scatter as a proxy for PBL depth was expanded to other seasons and

locations and has performed well in Wilmington, OH, Fairbanks, AK, Tucson, AZ,

Minneapolis, MN, Albany, NY, Portland, OR, and Tampa, FL, showing its potential

usefulness in monitoring PBL depth throughout the year in a variety of geographic

locations and meteorological conditions.