The Storm Peak Lab Cloud Property Validation Experiment (StormVEx)

Ian McCubbin Desert Research Institute
Gerald Mace University of Utah
Galina Chirokova Desert Research Institute
Matthew Shupe University of Colorado
Sergey Matrosov University of Colorado
Roger Marchand University of Washington
Brad Orr No Affiliation
Richard Coulter Argonne National Laboratory

Category: Field Campaigns

Working Group: Cloud-Aerosol-Precipitation Interaction

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StormVEx science team at AMF2 radar site with Storm Peak Lab in background.

The core goals of the ARM Climate Research Facility include improving the representation of clouds in global models. To accomplish this, ARM has invested considerably in creating long-term data sets from ground-based remote sensors at climatically important locations around the world. However, the ability to convert the remote sensing measurements to cloud properties is hampered by a critical shortage of correlative data that can be use for validation and development of new algorithms. Such correlative data sets are normally created by episodic and expensive aircraft measurements. We will conduct a field deployment of the AMF2 that has the potential to create a correlative data set equivalent to between 200 and 300 aircraft flights in liquid and mixed-phase clouds. This will be achieved by placing the AMF2 in close proximity to an elevated platform heavily instrumented with aerosol, cloud, and precipitation sensors. The Storm Peak Lab (SPL), located east of Steamboat Springs, Colorado, is a well-established cloud and aerosol research facility operated by the Desert Research Institute. SPL is located at 3210 m above sea level and is above cloud base 25% of the time during the winter season. SPL will collect in situ cloud and precipitation property measurements while the AMF2 operates at a location approximately 2.4 km west and 500 m in elevation below SPL during a winter season extending from approximately October 2010 through May 2011. This deployment will address three long-standing ARM objectives: 1. From a cloud property retrieval perspective, the type of clouds that will be observed during this period will range from stable liquid-phase boundary-layer clouds to mixed-phase clouds to heavily precipitating snow. These cloud types represent some of the most unique challenges for cloud property retrievals, and the full Doppler spectra from the scanning cloud radar combined with other AMF2 measurements correlated with continuous in situ data will facilitate development of new algorithms and statistically significant validation of the algorithm results. 2. The data set will be collected in a region of complex terrain. Collecting such a data set has been a long standing goal of ARM, and it will present a unique challenge and opportunity for modeling groups. 3. The extensive aerosol data set that will be collected at SPL will allow for investigation of the role of natural and anthropogenic aerosol in cloud and precipitation processes.

This poster will be displayed at ASR Science Team Meeting.