Water vapour intercomparison effort in the frame of the convective and orographically-induced precipitation study

Rohini Bhawara, Paolo DiGirolamoa, Donato Summaa, Cyrille Flamantb, Dietrich Althausenc, Andreas Behrendt, Alan Blyth, Olivier Bock, Pierre Bosser, Barbara J. Brooks, Marco Cacciani, Suzanne Crewell, Cedric Champollion, Fay Davies, Tatiana DiIorio, Gerhard Ehret, Ronny Engelmann, Christoph Kiemle, Christian Herold, Stephen MobbsDetlef Mueller, Sandip Pal, Marcus Radlach, Andrea Riede, Patric Scifert, Max Shiler, Martin Wirth, Volker Wulfmeyer

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


The main objective of this work is to provide accurate error estimates for the different water vapour profiling sensors based on an intensive inter-comparison effort. The inter-comparison, performed in the framework of COPS - Convective and Orographically-induced Precipitation Study (01 June-31 August 2007), involves airborne and ground-based water vapour lidar systems, radiosondes with different humidity sensors, GPS and Microwave radiometers (MWR). Simultaneous and co-located data from different sensors are used to compute relative bias and root-mean square (RMS) deviations as a function of altitude. Comparisons between airborne CNRSDIAL and ground-based Raman lidar BASIL from three dedicated flights performed in the frame of the H201idar EUFAR project indicate a mean relative bias between the two sensors of 3.9 % (0.11 g/kg) and a mean RMS deviation of 13.7 % (0.97 g/kg) in the altitude region 0-4.5 km above ground level. A specific inter- comparison between radiosondes with different humidity sensors (Vaisala RS80-A, RS80-H and RS92) was also performed during COPS. Results from the radiosonde inter-comparison indicate that RS80-A and RS80-H are affected by several systematic sources of error (contamination error, time-lag error, etc.), which have been corrected through established algorithms [1, 2, 3], After correction for these error sources, mean bias between RS80 (A&H) and RS92 is found to be reduced to -4.5 %.Based on the 3 comparisons between BASIL vs airborne DLR DIAL, the mean relative bias is about -3.5 % in the altitude region 0-3 Km, while the RMS is approx. 13 %. There are also ongoing comparisons between BASIL vs GPS, MWR and radiosondes and between the water vapor sensors located at different sites and the airborne DIALs which will be discussed at the symposium. Thus on the present statistics of comparisons between BASIL vs both the airborne DIALs and GPS and putting equal weight on the data reliability of each instrument, it results in the bias values of: BASIL Raman Lidar -0.3 %, DLR DIAL 3.2 %, CNRSDIAL -3.6 % and GPS 0.6 %. More ongoing comparisons between water vapor profiling sensors, especially benefiting from the extraordinary performances of the ground-based UHOH DIAL system, will be discussed at the symposium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)215-218
Number of pages4
JournalAIP Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - 2009
EventInternational Radiation Symposium, IRS 2008 - Foz do Iguacu, Brazil
Duration: Aug 3 2008Aug 8 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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