Boundary Layer Evolution in a Relatively Dry Environment


The purpose of this lab is to examine boundary layer evolution in a dry environment.  Specifically, you will:

  1. identify the different layers within the boundary layer during day and night time hours
  2. examine the mixed layer evolution

The data were collected near Yuma, AZ. The data files are simple text files. You can read them in and make the requisite plots with the software of your choice. MatLab or Excel are two recommendations.


1. Copy the sounding data files to your home directory. A link to the data can be found here.

2.  Calculate and plot the potential temperature (or the virtual potential temperature for extra credit) for each sounding.  All plots should be on the same diagram.

3.  Pick one nighttime, one mid morning, and one afternoon sounding (three total). Create vertical profiles of (virtual) potential temperature for each.  On the plots, clearly label the locations of all boundary layer sub layers that are evident in the data.

4.  How deep is the surface layer during the daytime hours?

5.  How deep is the nocturnal boundary layer? Do you see a residual layer in this sounding?

6. How deep is the mixed layer in the daytime soundings?