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Comparison of Observations and Predictions of Daytime Planetary-boundary-layer Heights and Surface Meteorological Variables In The Columbia River Gorge and Basin During The Second Wind Forecast Improvement Project


The second Wind Forecast Improvement Project (WFIP2) is an 18-month field campaign in the Pacific Northwest U.S.A., whose goal is to improve the accuracy of numerical-weather-prediction forecasts in complex terrain. The WFIP2 campaign involved the deployment of a large suite of in situ and remote sensing instrumentation, including eight 915-MHz wind-profiling radars, and surface meteorological stations. The evolution and annual variability of the daytime convective planetary-boundary-layer (PBL) height is investigated using the wind-profiling radars. Three models with different horizontal grid spacing are evaluated: the Rapid Refresh, the High-Resolution Rapid Refresh, and its nested version. The results are used to assess errors in the prediction of PBL height within the experimental and control versions of the models, with the experimental versions including changes and additions to the model parametrizations developed during the field campaign, and the control version using the parametrizations present in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/National Centers for Environmental Prediction operational version of the models at the start of the project. Results show that the high-resolution models outperform the low-resolution versions, the experimental versions perform better compared with the control versions, model PBL height estimations are more accurate on cloud-free days, and model estimates of the PBL height growth rate are more accurate than model estimates of the rate of decay. Finally, using surface sensors, we assess surface meteorological variables, finding improved surface irradiance and, to a lesser extent, improved 2-m temperature in the experimental version of the model.

Article / Publication Data
Available Metadata
Fiscal Year
Peer Reviewed
Publication Name
Boundary-layer Meteorology
Published On
August 17, 2021
Print Volume
Submitted On
August 11, 2020


Authors who have authored or contributed to this publication.