Observing the Vertical Extent of the Urban Boundary Layer Over Jersey City, NJ: A Diurnal and Seasonal Analysis
Abstract:The atmospheric boundary remains one of the more difficult components of the climate system to classify. One of the most important characteristics is the boundary layer height, especially in urban settings. The current study examines the boundary layer height using the the New York City Meteorological Network or NYCMetNet. NYCMetNet is a network of weather stations, which report meteorological conditions in and around New York City, as part of the Optical Remote Sensing Laboratory of The City College of New York (ORSL). Of interest to this study is the data obtained from wind profiler station LSC01. The 915 MHz wind profiler is located 30m above the ground on the roof of the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, NJ. It is a Vaisala Wind Profiler LAP 3000 with a wavelength of ~34cm, which means that the instrument responds primarily to Bragg backscattering.
Can a seasonal urban boundary layer climatology be extrapolated from the data obtained from the wind profiler? What is the timing of boundary layer evolution and collapse over Jersey City? How effective is the profiler under cloudy skies and even in light rain or snow? This study examines the entire time period covered by the wind profile (2007 to present) and selects a series of clear days and a series of cloudy days. The top of the urban boundary layer is subjectively located from each half hour time stamp of signal to noise values. The urban boundary layer heights are recorded for clear and then cloudy days. Then the days are sorted seasonally (DJF, MAM, JJA, SON). A seasonal mean is calculated for every half hour time step. Finally a time series of seasonal urban boundary layer heights is constructed, and the timing of the urban boundary layer height maximum and time evolution and collapse of the boundary layer are generalized. A comparison is made against urban boundary layer heights obtained from Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis For Research And Applications (MERRA).