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The Midlatitude Continental Convective Clouds Experiment (MC3E)
  • Published Date:
    2016
  • Source:
    Bull. Am. Meteor. Soc., 97, 1667-1686.
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The Midlatitude Continental Convective Clouds Experiment (MC3E)
Details:
  • Description:
    A field campaign aimed at acquiring a more complete understanding of the physical processes driving the lifecycle of mid-latitude convective clouds and the characteristics of its precipitation. The Midlatitude Continental Convective Clouds Experiment (MC3E), a field program jointly led by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Atmospheric Radiation Measurement program and the NASA Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Mission, was conducted in south-central Oklahoma during April – May 2011. MC3E science objectives were motivated by the need to improve understanding of midlatitude continental convective cloud system lifecycles, microphysics, and GPM precipitation retrieval algorithms. To achieve these objectives a multi-scale surface- and aircraft-based in situ and remote sensing observing strategy was employed. A variety of cloud and precipitation events were sampled during the MC3E, of which results from three deep convective events are highlighted. Vertical structure, air motions, precipitation drop-size distributions and ice properties were retrieved from multi-wavelength radar, profiler, and aircraft observations for an MCS on 11 May. Aircraft observations for another MCS observed on 20 May were used to test agreement between observed radar reflectivities and those calculated with forward-modeled reflectivity and microwave brightness temperatures using in situ particle size distributions and ice water content. Multi-platform observations of a supercell that occurred on 23 May allowed for an integrated analysis of kinematic and microphysical interactions. A core updraft of 25 ms-1 supported growth of hail and large rain drops. Data collected during the MC3E campaign is being used in a number of current and ongoing research projects and is available through the DOE ARM and NASA data archives.

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