The midlatitude continental convective clouds experiment (MC3E)


The Midlatitude Continental Convective Clouds Experiment (MC3E) is a field campaign aimed at acquiring a more complete understanding of the physical processes driving the life cycle of mid-latitude convective clouds. MC3E took place from 22 April through 6 June 2011, and was focused at and around the DOE ARM Southern Great Plains (SGP) Central Facility (CF) in north-central Oklahoma, where an extensive array of both airborne and ground-based instrumentation was deployed. At the top of the sampling domain, the NASA ER-2 aircraft functioned as a GPM core-satellite sampling simulator. It carried the dual-frequency, dual-beam nadir-pointing Doppler, High-Altitude Imaging Wind and Rain Airborne Profiler (HIWRAP), and two multifrequency passive microwave radiometers. At the largest scale a radiosonde network was deployed to quantify the temperature, humidity, and wind properties of the environment surrounding the ARM SGP CF. MC3E staff launched 1,348 coordinated weather balloons from six sites at a frequency of four times per day under nonconvective conditions in order to partially sample the diurnal cycle. Surrounding the SGP CF was a dense network of 18 autonomous Particle Size and Velocity (PARSIVEL) disdrometers. The coordinated efforts resulted in a very successful MC3E field campaign whose datasets will be the focus of scientific research for many years.

Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society