From November 10 through December 21, NASA and university scientists are taking to the field to study wet winter weather near Seattle, Washington. With weather radars, weather balloons, specialized ground instruments, and NASA's DC-8 flying laboratory, the science team will be verifying rain and snowfall observations made by the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) satellite mission on a NASA-led field campaign, The Olympic Mountain Experiment, or OLYMPEX.
Media are invited to go behind the scenes of a comprehensive field campaign focused on yielding new insights into global precipitation at a special event on Nov. 11, 2015.
Three Radars are Better than One
Putting three radars on a plane to measure rainfall may seem like overkill. But for the Integrated Precipitation and Hydrology Experiment field campaign in North Carolina recently, more definitely was better.
HIWRAP is under the wing in the black compartment; the Cloud Radar System is under the other wing and is not visible; and the EXRAD radar is in the extended nose cone.
In total, 25 events were identified with two events classified as “clear air” flights conducted by the DC-8 to sample land surface emission characteristics. Table 4 summarizes case date and time, event type, and airborne data collection during the field project. Event total SWE amounts represent manual measurements taken by a Tretyakov gauge located inside a DFIR wind shield at CARE. Precipitation types are characterized as rain (R), snow (S), or mixed precipitation that could include ice pellets (R/S). Synoptic context/regime(s) were determined from the
Joe Munchak is a scientist at Goddard Space Flight Center who specializes in remote sensing of snow. This week he writes from the air in the DC-8 out of Bangor, Maine.
The large white “finger” in the center of the image is ice- and snow-covered Lake Simcoe.