Challenges in Diurnal Humidity Analysis from Cellular Microwave Links (CML) over Germany

Yoav Rubin*, Dorita Rostkier-Edelstein, Christian Chwala, Pinhas Alpert

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Near-surface humidity is a crucial variable in many atmospheric processes, mostly related to the development of clouds and rain. The humidity at the height of a few tens of meters above ground level is highly influenced by surface characteristics. Measuring the near-surface humidity at high resolution, where most of the humidity’s sinks and sources are found, is a challenging task using classical tools. A novel approach for measuring the humidity is based on commercial microwave links (CML), which provide a large part of the cellular networks backhaul. This study focuses on employing humidity measurements with high spatio–temporal resolution in Germany. One major goal is to assess the errors and the environmental influence by comparing the CML-derived humidity to in-situ humidity measurements at weather stations and reanalysis (COSMO-Rea6) products. The method of retrieving humidity from the CML has been improved as compared to previous studies due to the use of new data at high temporal resolution. The results show a similar correlation on average and generally good agreement between both the CML retrievals and the reanalysis, and 32 weather stations near Siegen, West Germany (CML—0.84, Rea6—0.85). Higher correlations are observed for CML-derived humidity during the daytime (0.85), especially between 9–17 LT (0.87) and a maximum at 12 LT (0.90). During the night, the correlations are lower on average (0.81), with a minimum at 3 LT (0.74). These results are discussed with attention to the diurnal boundary layer (BL) height variation which has a strong effect on the BL humidity temporal profile. Further metrics including root mean square errors, mean values and standard deviations, were also calculated.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2353
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 May 2022


  • CML
  • Germany
  • cellular microwave links
  • high temporal resolution
  • humidity monitoring


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