OLYMPEX: A Global Precipitation Mission (GPM) Ground Validation Campaign on the Olympic Peninsula in the Pacific Northwest

Tuesday, 16 December 2014: 3:25 PM
Lynn A. McMurdie1, Robert Houze1, Jessica D Lundquist1, Cliff Mass1, Walter Arthur Petersen2 and Mathew Schwaller3, (1)University of Washington, Seattle, WA, United States, (2)NASA GSFC/WFF Code 610.W, Wallops Island, VA, United States, (3)NASA GSFC, Greenbelt, MD, United States
The Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Mission was successfully launched at 1837 UTC 27 February 2014 with the first space-borne Ku/Ka band Dual Frequency Precipitation Radar and a passive microwave radiometer (channels ranging from 10-183 GHz). The primary objective of the Core satellite is to measure rain and snow globally, determine its 3D structure, and act as the calibration satellite for a constellation of GPM passive microwave satellites. In order to assess how remotely sensed precipitation can be applied to a range of data applications, ground validation (GV) field campaigns are crucial. As such, the Olympic Mountains Experiment (OLYMPEX) is planned for November 2015 – February 2016. The Olympic Peninsula in Washington State is an ideal location to conduct a GV campaign. It is situated within an active mid-latitude winter storm track and receives among the highest annual precipitation amounts in North America. In one compact area, the Olympic peninsula ranges from ocean to coast to land to mountains. It contains a permanent snowfield and numerous associated river basins. This unique venue will enable the field campaign to monitor both upstream precipitation characteristics and processes over the ocean and their modification over complex terrain. The scientific goals of the OLYMPEX field campaign include physical validation of satellite algorithms, precipitation mechanisms in complex terrain, hydrological applications, and modeling studies. In order to address these goals, a wide variety of existing and new observations are planned. These include surface observing networks of meteorological stations, rain and snow gauges, surface microphysical measurements, and snowpack surveys. Several radars will be deployed including the NASA S-Band dual-polarimetric and NASA Dual-Frequency Dual-Polarimetric Doppler radars, the Canadian x-band radar, and other mobile radars. Several instrumented aircraft are likely to participate such as the NASA DC-8 and the University of North Dakota Citation. The aircraft measurements will determine upstream thermodynamic and moisture conditions, sample particle types and sizes, and act as a proxy for the satellite itself. The ground-based measurements will test how well the satellite proxy measurements determine the rain and snow over complex terrain.