The Mid-Latitude Continental Convective Clouds Experiment (MC3E)

Walter Petersen NASA Marshall Space Flight Center
Michael Jensen Brookhaven National Laboratory
Anthony Del Genio National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Scott Giangrande Brookhaven National Laboratory
Andrew Heymsfield NCAR
Gerald Heymsfield NASA - Goddard Space Flight Center
Arthur Hou NASA - Goddard Space Flight Center
Pavlos Kollias Stony Brook University
Brad Orr No Affiliation
Steven Rutledge Colorado State University
Mathew Schwaller NASA - Goddard Space Flight Center
Edward Zipser University of Utah

Category: Field Campaigns

Working Group: Cloud Life Cycle

The Mid-latitude Continental Convective Cloud Experiment (MC3E) will take place in central Oklahoma during April–May 2011. MC3E is a collaborative effort between the U.S. DOE Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Climate Research Facility and the NASA Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission. MC3E leverages existing observing infrastructure in the central U.S., augmented by an extensive sounding array, ground and airborne in situ observations, and new ARM instrumentation purchased with American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding. The overarching goal of MC3E is to provide the most complete characterization of convective cloud systems ever obtained; the result being data sets constrain model cumulus parameterizations and spaceborne precipitation retrieval algorithms. Different components of convective processes are targeted, such as pre-convective environment and convective initiation, updraft/downdraft dynamics, condensate transport and detrainment, precipitation and cloud microphysics, influence on the environment and radiation, and a detailed description of the large-scale forcing. MC3E will employ a multi-scale observing strategy leveraging a network of distributed sensors (both passive and active). The approach is to document the full spectrum of precipitation and cloud physical characteristics as a function of feedbacks to/from the environment. This will be accomplished via use of existing, external, and developing instrumentation deployed in and around the ARM SGP Central Facility. NASA will provide scanning multi-frequency dual-polarimetric radar systems at three different frequencies (Ka/Ku/S), high-altitude remote sensing (ER-2) and in situ aircraft (UND Citation), wind profilers, and a dense network of surface disdrometers. These platforms will augment a complement of DOE instrumentation including a sounding array, three networked scanning X-band radar systems, a C-band scanning radar, a dual-wavelength (Ka/W) scanning cloud radar, a Doppler lidar, and upgraded vertically pointing millimeter cloud radar (MMCR) and micropulse lidar (MPL). Within the envelope of this considerable ground-based observation system, an in situ aircraft will provide observations of precipitation-sized particles, ice freezing nuclei, and aerosol concentrations in coordination with a high-altitude satellite simulator platform carrying a Ka/Ku band radar and passive microwave radiometers (10-183 GHZ).

This poster will be displayed at ASR Science Team Meeting.

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