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Convective cloud life-cycle during the Mid-latitude Continental Convective Clouds Experiment (MC3E)

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June 27, 2013
Michael P. Jensen
Hosted by Richard Johnson


Michael P. Jensen
Brookhaven National Laboratory
Environmental Sciences Department/Atmospheric Sciences Division
Upton, NY

Convective processes play a critical role in the Earth's energy balance through the redistribution of heat and moisture in the atmosphere and the subsequent impacts on the hydrological cycle. Despite improvements in computing power, current operational weather and global climate models are unable to resolve the natural temporal and spatial scales that are associated with convective processes; therefore, they must turn to parameterization schemes to represent these processes. In turn, the physical basis for these parameterization schemes needs to be evaluated for general application under a variety of atmospheric conditions. Data from field campaigns with appropriate forcing descriptors have been traditionally used by modelers for evaluating and improving parameterization schemes.

The Midlatitude Continental Convective Clouds Experiment (MC3E) took place from 22 April through 6 June 2011 centered at the U.S. Department of Energy's Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Southern Great Plains Central Facility in north-central Oklahoma. This campaign was a joint effort between the ARM and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Global Precipitation Measurement mission Ground Validation program. During this campaign a comprehensive dataset of surface-, aircraft- and satellite-based observations was collected targeting processes important for the parameterization of convection in large-scale models and the retrieval of precipitation by space-borne sensors over land. This talk will discuss some of the details of the MC3E campaign including preliminary data analysis activities and science results.