This contribution evaluates an approach using an extended Kalman filter (EKF) to estimate the planetary boundary layer height (PBLH) from lidar measurements obtained in the framework of the European Aerosol Research LIdar NETwork (EARLINET) at 12 UTC ± 30-min. for a 7-year period (2007-2013) under different synoptic flows over the complex geographical area of Barcelona, Spain. PBLH diagnosed with the EKF technique are compared with classic lidar methods and radiosounding estimates. Seven unique synoptic flows are identified using cluster analysis of 5756 HYSPLIT (HYbrid Single Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory) three-day backtrajectories for a 16-year period (1998-2013) arriving at 0.5 km, 1.5 km, and 3 km, to represent the lower PBL, upper PBL, and low free troposphere, respectively. Regional recirculations are dominant with 54% of the annual total at 0.5 km and 57% of the total lidar days at 1.5 km, with a clear preference for summertime (0.5 km: 36% and 1.5 km: 29%). PBLH retrievals using the EKF method range from 0.79 - 1.6 km asl. Highest PBLH are observed in southwest flows (15.2% of total) and regional recirculations from the east (34.8% of total), mainly caused by the stagnant synoptic pattern in summertime over the Iberian Peninsula. Lowest PBLH are associated with north (19.6% of total) and northeast (4.3% of total) synoptic flows, when fresh air masses tend to lower PBLH. The adaptive nature of the EKF technique allows retrieval of reliable PBLH without the need for long time averaging or range smoothing, as typical with classic methods.