ARM and NASA Study in Oklahoma Ends


The Midlatitude Continental Convective Clouds Experiment (MC3E) that began April 22, 2011, came to a successful conclusion on June 6, 2011. This experiment took full advantage of new ARM instrumentation—particularly the new 3-D precipitation radars—installed throughout the Southern Great Plains (SGP) site, supplemented by additional radars, precipitation instrumentation, a weather balloon network, and aircraft measurements provided by NASA. MC3E’s goal was to provide the most complete characterization dataset for convective cloud systems, precipitation, and their environment that has ever been obtained, providing details about cumulus clouds that have never before been available for weather and climate models. Initial indications are that the experiment collected a dataset that through analysis and modeling studies will lead to answers to many of the questions outlined in the original science plan. Some of the measurement highlights include:

  • Sampling a variety of convective cloud conditions with both aircraft and ground-based radar.
  • Captured environmental conditions within which convection occurs for use in deriving a model-forcing dataset.
  • Sampling of convective clouds by multiple scanning radar systems providing opportunities for multi-Doppler analysis of atmospheric motions.
  • Excellent sampling of large precipitation drops by ARM 2-D video disdrometers and accompanying NASA disdrometer array.

Compared to previous campaigns of a similar nature, this dataset will be significantly more detailed due the addition of new and upgraded instruments installed at the SGP site in the past year through funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.