Sensitivity of WRF-simulated planetary boundary layer height to land cover and soil changes

Ferenc Ács, András Zénó Gyöngyösi, Hajnalka Breuer, Ákos Horváth, Tamás Mona, Kálmán Rajkai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)


Planetary boundary layer (PBL) height sensitivity to both so-called single and accumulated land cover and soil changes is investigated in shallow convection under cloud-free conditions to compare the effects. Single land cover type and soil changes are carried out to be able to unequivocally separate the cause and effect relationships. The Yonsei University scheme in the framework of the Weather Research Forecasting (WRF) mesoscale modeling system is used as a research tool. The area investigated lies in the Carpathian Basin, where anticyclonic weather type influence dominated on the five summer days chosen for simulations. Observation-based methods applied for validating diurnal PBL height courses manifest great deviations reaching 500-1300 m. The obtained deviations are somewhat smaller around midday and greater at night. They can originate either from the differences in the measuring principles or from the differences in the atmospheric profiles used. Concerning sensitivity analyses, we showed that PBL height differences caused by soil change are comparable with the PBL height differences caused by land cover change. The differences are much greater in the single than in the accumulated tests. Space averaged diurnal course difference around midday reaching a few tens of meters can be presumably treated as strongly significant. PBL height differences obtained in the sensitivity analyses are, at least in our case, smaller than those obtained by applying different observation based methods. The results may be utilized in PBL height diurnal course analyses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-293
Number of pages15
JournalMeteorologische Zeitschrift
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Carpathian Basin
  • Land cover
  • Planetary boundary layer height
  • Shallow convection
  • Soil
  • WRF modeling system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science

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