Insights Into Precipitation Processes As Revealed By Profiling Radar, Disdrometer and Aircraft Observations During The MC3E Campaign.
The Midlatitude Continental Convective Clouds Experiment (MC3E) was a collaborative campaign led by the National Aeronautic and Space Administration’s (NASA’s) Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) program. This campaign was held at the DOE ARM Southern Great Plains (SGP) Central Facility (CF) in north-central Oklahoma, with the programs joining forces to deploy an extensive array of airborne, radiosonde and ground-based instrumentation towards an unprecedented set of deep convective environment and cloud property observations. An overarching motivation was to capitalize on the wealth of aircraft observations and new multi-frequency dual-polarization radars to provide insights for improving the treatments of cloud processes in convective models.
This study considers a coupled aircraft, radar and surface disdrometer approach for identifying key cloud processes and linking those to possible radar-based microphysical fingerprints and/or cloud properties. Our emphasis is on the MC3E observations collected during aircraft spirals over the column of the ARM CF. We focus on those spirals associated with radar ‘bright band’ signatures and Doppler spectral anomalies observed within trailing stratifrom precipitation. Two cases are highlighted, one following a weaker convective event, and one following a stronger squall line. For each event, we investigate the usefulness of radar to inform on processes including aggregation and riming as viewed by the vertically-pointing ARM wind profiler (915 MHz) and cloud radar Doppler spectral observations (35 GHz). Matching dual-polarization radar signatures from nearby cm-wavelength radar are also consulted for complementary insights.