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Department of Atmospheric Science

Seminar: Tues., Feb. 18, 12 noon, EN6085 

Observations and Preliminary Analysis from COPE-MED


Jeff French

Senior Research Scientist

The Convective Precipitation Experiment – Microphysics and Entrainment Dependencies (COPE-MED) took place during the summer months of 2013 in SW England. Among the objectives of COPE-MED are to better understand the interplay between warm rain and ice processes, particularly secondary ice production, and their relative importance in producing heavy convective rainfall. Implicit in this objective is to be able to describe the production of warm rain prior to the initiation of ice. For this reason, aircraft observations were focused on obtaining measurements near the tops of clouds as they penetrated through levels from 0 to -12 °C.

Measurements provided by the UWKA are central to achieving COPE-MED objectives. Together with detailed microphysics and thermodynamic measures from the UWKA, Wyoming Cloud Radar (WCR) and Lidar (WCL) provide high resolution measures of cloud structure and dynamics (WCR) above and below the aircraft. Here we present measurements from two days for which cloud tops extended from between 0 and -15 °C.  Environmental conditions were similar on these days yet the clouds had somewhat different microphysical evolution. In this preliminary analysis, we focus on describing the character of the clouds based on observations and lay the groundwork for the in-depth analysis that will follow.

Comparisons from several microphysics probes mounted on the UWKA are also presented. The UWKA instrument suite provides multiple measures of cloud liquid water content, cloud droplet size spectra, and larger particle size, concentration, and shape—necessary for phase discrimination. Evaluations of probe performance and performance of data processing algorithms are critical for interpretation of the measurements they provide.


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