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Inter-comparison of wind profiles in the tropical boundary layer remotely sensed from GPS radiosonde and Doppler wind lidar

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Winds play a very important role in the dynamics of the lower atmosphere, and there is a need to obtain vertical distribution of winds at high spatio-temporal resolution for various observational and modelling applications. Profiles of wind speed and direction obtained at two tropical Indian stations using a Doppler wind lidar during the Indian southwest monsoon season were inter-compared with those obtained simultaneously from GPS upper-air sounding (radiosonde). Mean wind speeds at Mahbubnagar (16.73° N, 77.98° E, 445 m above mean sea level) compare well in magnitude for the entire height range from 100 m to 2000 m. The mean difference in wind speed between the two techniques ranged from −0.81 m s−1 to +0.41 m s−1, and the standard deviation of wind speed differences ranged between 1.03 m s−1 and 1.95 m s−1. Wind direction by both techniques compared well up to about 1200 m height and then deviated slightly from each other at heights above, with a standard deviation in difference of 19°–48°. At Pune (1832′ N, 7351′ E, 559 m above mean sea level), wind speed by both techniques matched well throughout the altitude range, but with a constant difference of about 1 m s−1. The root mean square deviation in wind speed ranged from 1.0 to 1.6 m s−1 and that in wind direction from 20° to 45°. The bias and spread in both wind speed and direction for the two stations were computed and are discussed. The study shows that the inter-comparison of wind profiles obtained by the two independent techniques is very good under conditions of low wind speeds, and they show larger deviation when wind speeds are large, probably due the drift of the radiosonde balloon away from the location.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pashan, Pune, 411008, India

Publication date: May 3, 2014

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