Boundary Layer Network Software
Thermodynamic evolution of severe thunderstorm that caused 22 deaths and 5-day power outage in Washington, D.C. (Novakovskaia et al, 2013). Radiometrics, in partnership with Earth Networks (the operator of the largest weather, lightning and climate observation networks in North America) has deployed a new monitoring network for the continuous collection of real-time atmospheric data within the planetary boundary layer. An initial network deployment of 10 thermodynamic profiling radiometer sites in California, Colorado, Maryland and Oklahoma has been augmented by sites in Idaho, Iowa, New York, North Carolina, Ohio and Texas. Key parameters measured by the network include boundary layer temperature, humidity and liquid profiles. The companies anticipate that the network will grow to 100 or more instruments across the United States.
The Boundary Layer Network (BLN) will fill critical observational gaps that will enable meteorologists to greatly improve mesoscale forecasts and storm warnings. In addition to serving as an important new resource for modelers and forecasters, boundary layer data will provide several benefits to businesses and will prove useful to researchers and climate scientists. Data from the network will help meet the expanding needs of the renewable energy and clean-tech sectors and other industries by providing more detailed atmospheric information to improve forecasts used by the nation’s solar plants, wind farms, and electric utilities. Additional applications include aviation, air quality monitoring, and water management, where greater forecast accuracy and precision are required. The network will also monitor critical stability parameters that provide insight into the initiation of convective storms, which is one of the priorities of the U.S. National Weather Service (NWS).
Currently, boundary layer observations are primarily made using radiosondes, commercial aircraft soundings, radar and a small number of wind profilers and tall towers. However, the spatial and temporal resolution of these observations are limited and do not meet the growing data requirements for improved forecasts at local scales. The BLN will become an essential resource to provide a more accurate description of the vertical structure and stability of the complex boundary layer.