We revised the calibration of a water vapor Raman lidar by co-located radiosoundings for a site in the high European Arctic. For this purpose, we defined robust criteria for a valid calibration. One of these criteria is the logarithm of the water vapor mixing ratio between the sonde and the lidar. With an error analysis, we showed that for our site correlations smaller than 0.95 could be explained neither by noise in the lidar nor by wrong assumptions concerning the aerosol or Rayleigh extinction. However, highly variable correlation coefficients between sonde and consecutive lidar profiles were found, suggesting that small scale variability of the humidity was our largest source of error. Therefore, not all co-located radiosoundings are useful for lidar calibration. As we assumed these changes to be non-systematic, averaging over several independent measurements increased the calibration’s quality. The calibration of the water vapor measurements from the lidar for individual profiles varied by less than ±5%. The seasonal median, used for calibration in this study, was stable and reliable (confidence ±1% for the season with most calibration profiles). Thus, the water vapor mixing ratio profiles from the Koldewey Aerosol Raman Lidar (KARL) are very accurate. They show high temporal variability up to 4 km altitude and, therefore, provide additional, independent information to the radiosonde.
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