Investigation of a Complex Nocturnal Flow in Owens Valley, California Using Coherent Doppler Lidar

Aditya Choukulkar, Ronald Calhoun, Brian Billings, James Doyle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


A study of an interesting meteorological episode over the Owens Valley, California, USA during the Terrain-Induced Rotor EXperiment was conducted using a recently adapted statistical interpolation method to retrieve wind-velocity vectors from Doppler lidar data. This vector retrieval method has been adapted from radar data assimilation techniques. Results show that the method allows better preservation of local variations in the flow field than other techniques. In addition, a high resolution Coupled Ocean/Atmosphere Mesoscale Prediction System (COAMPS ®) run is used to understand the large-scale flow within the valley and compared with lidar retrievals. Observations from 1030 UTC to 1230 UTC (0230 local time to 0430 local time) on March 27, 2006 are presented. Lidar observations show complex and uncharacteristic flows such as sudden bursts of westerly cross-valley wind mixing with the dominant up-valley wind. Model results from COAMPS and other in-situ instrumentation are used to corroborate and complement these observations. The optimal interpolation technique for Doppler lidar data vector retrieval appears well suited for scenarios with complex spatial variations in the flow field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)359-378
Number of pages20
JournalBoundary-Layer Meteorology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2012


  • Coupled Ocean/Atmosphere Mesoscale Prediction System (COAMPS)
  • Lidar
  • Mountain meteorology
  • Optimal interpolation
  • Owens Valley
  • Terrain-Induced Rotor Experiment (T-REX)
  • Vector retrieval

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


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