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  • Author or Editor: M. E. Brooks x
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Brooks E. Martner
,
Robert M. Rauber
,
Roy M. Rasmussen
,
Erwin T. Prater
, and
Mohan K. Ramamurthy

A winter storm that crossed the continental United States in mid-February 1990 produced hazardous weather across a vast area of the nation. A wide range of severe weather was reported, including heavy snowfall; freezing rain and drizzle; thunderstorms with destructive winds, lightning, large hail, and tornadoes; prolonged heavy rain with subsequent flooding; frost damage to citrus orchards; and sustained destructive winds not associated with thunderstorms. Low-end preliminary estimates of impacts included 9 deaths, 27 injuries, and $120 million of property damage. At least 35 states and southeastern Canada were adversely affected. The storm occurred during the field operations of four independent atmospheric research projects that obtained special, detailed observations of it from the Rocky Mountains to the eastern Great Lakes.

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R. E. Orville
,
E. J. Zipser
,
M. Brook
,
C. Weidman
,
G. Aulich
,
E. P. Krider
,
H. Christian
,
S. Goodman
,
R. Biakeslee
, and
K. Cummins

In the fall of 1992 a lightning direction finder network was deployed in the western Pacific Ocean in the area of Papua New Guinea. Direction finders were installed on Kapingamarangi Atoll and near the towns of Rabaul and Kavieng, Papua New Guinea. The instruments were modified to detect cloud-to-ground lightning out to a distance of 900 km. Data were collected from cloud-to-ground lightning flashes for the period 26 November 1992–15 January 1994. The analyses are presented for the period 1 January 1993–31 December 1993. In addition, a waveform recorder was located at Kavieng to record both cloud-to-ground lightning and intracloud lightning in order to provide an estimate of the complete lightning activity. The data from these instruments are to be analyzed in conjunction with the data from ship and airborne radars, in-cloud microphysics, and electrical measurements from both the ER-2 and DC-8. The waveform instrumentation operated from approximately mid-January through February 1993. Over 150 000 waveforms were recorded.

During the year, January–December 1993, the cloud-to-ground lightning location network recorded 857 000 first strokes of which 5.6% were of positive polarity. During the same period, 437 000 subsequent strokes were recorded. The peak annual flash density was measured to be 2.0 flashes km−2 centered on the western coastline of the island of New Britain, just southwest of Rabaul. The annual peak lightning flash density over the Intensive Flux Array of Tropical Oceans Global Atmosphere Coupled Ocean–Atmosphere Response Experiment was 0.1 flashes km−2, or more than an order of magnitude less than that measured near land. The diurnal lightning frequency peaked at 1600 UTC (0200 LT), perhaps in coincidence with the nighttime land-breeze convergence along the coast of New Britain. Median monthly negative peak currents are in the 20–30-kA range, with first stroke peak currents typically exceeding subsequent peak currents. Median monthly positive peak currents are typically 30 kA with one month (June) having a value of 60 kA.

Positive polar conductivity was measured by an ER-2 flight from 40°N geomagnetic latitude to 28°S geomagnetic latitude. The measurements show that the air conductivity is about a factor of 0.6 lower in the Tropics than in the midlatitudes. Consequently, a tropical storm will produce higher field values aloft for the same rate of electrical current generation. An ER-2 overflight of tropical cyclone Oliver on 7 February 1993 measured electric fields and 85-GHz brightness temperatures. The measurements reveal electrification in the eye wall cloud region with ice, but no lightning was observed.

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Kenneth P. Moran
,
Brooks E. Martner
,
M. J. Post
,
Robert A. Kropfli
,
David C. Welsh
, and
Kevin B. Widener

A new millimeter-wave cloud radar (MMCR) has been designed to provide detailed, long-term observations of nonprecipitating and weakly precipitating clouds at Cloud and Radiation Testbed (CART) sites of the Department of Energy's Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) program. Scientific requirements included excellent sensitivity and vertical resolution to detect weak and thin multiple layers of ice and liquid water clouds over the sites and long-term, unattended operations in remote locales. In response to these requirements, the innovative radar design features a vertically pointing, single-polarization, Doppler system operating at 35 GHz (Ka band). It uses a low-peak-power transmitter for long-term reliability and high-gain antenna and pulse-compressed waveforms to maximize sensitivity and resolution. The radar uses the same kind of signal processor as that used in commercial wind profilers. The first MMCR began operations at the CART in northern Oklahoma in late 1996 and has operated continuously there for thousands of hours. It routinely provides remarkably detailed images of the ever-changing cloud structure and kinematics over this densely instrumented site. Examples of the data are presented. The radar measurements will greatly improve quantitative documentation of cloud conditions over the CART sites and will bolster ARM research to understand how clouds impact climate through their effects on radiative transfer. Millimeter-wave radars such as the MMCR also have potential applications in the fields of aviation weather, weather modification, and basic cloud physics research.

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Thomas M. Hamill
,
Russell S. Schneider
,
Harold E. Brooks
,
Gregory S. Forbes
,
Howard B. Bluestein
,
Michael Steinberg
,
Daniel Meléndez
, and
Randall M. Dole
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Thomas M. Hamill
,
Russell S. Schneider
,
Harold E. Brooks
,
Gregory S. Forbes
,
Howard B. Bluestein
,
Michael Steinberg
,
Daniel Meléndez
, and
Randall M. Dole
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Thomas M. Hamill
,
Russell S. Schneider
,
Harold E. Brooks
,
Gregory S. Forbes
,
Howard B. Bluestein
,
Michael Steinberg
,
Daniel Meléndez
, and
Randall M. Dole

In May 2003 there was a very destructive extended outbreak of tornadoes across the central and eastern United States. More than a dozen tornadoes struck each day from 3 May to 11 May 2003. This outbreak caused 41 fatalities, 642 injuries, and approximately $829 million dollars of property damage. The outbreak set a record for most tornadoes ever reported in a week (334 between 4–10 May), and strong tornadoes (F2 or greater) occurred in an unbroken sequence of nine straight days. Fortunately, despite this being one of the largest extended outbreaks of tornadoes on record, it did not cause as many fatalities as in the few comparable past outbreaks, due in large measure to the warning efforts of National Weather Service, television, and private-company forecasters and the smaller number of violent (F4–F5) tornadoes. This event was also relatively predictable; the onset of the outbreak was forecast skillfully many days in advance.

An unusually persistent upper-level trough in the intermountain west and sustained low-level southerly winds through the southern Great Plains produced the extended period of tornado-favorable conditions. Three other extended outbreaks in the past 88 years were statistically comparable to this outbreak, and two short-duration events (Palm Sunday 1965 and the 1974 Superoutbreak) were comparable in the overall number of strong tornadoes. An analysis of tornado statistics and environmental conditions indicates that extended outbreaks of this character occur roughly every 10 to 100 years.

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Neil A. Stuart
,
Patrick S. Market
,
Bruce Telfeyan
,
Gary M. Lackmann
,
Kenneth Carey
,
Harold E. Brooks
,
Daniel Nietfeld
,
Brian C. Motta
, and
Ken Reeves
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Pieter Groenemeijer
,
Tomáš Púčik
,
Alois M. Holzer
,
Bogdan Antonescu
,
Kathrin Riemann-Campe
,
David M. Schultz
,
Thilo Kühne
,
Bernold Feuerstein
,
Harold E. Brooks
,
Charles A. Doswell III
,
Hans-Joachim Koppert
, and
Robert Sausen

Abstract

The European Severe Storms Laboratory (ESSL) was founded in 2006 to advance the science and forecasting of severe convective storms in Europe. ESSL was a grassroots effort of individual scientists from various European countries. The purpose of this article is to describe the 10-yr history of ESSL and present a sampling of its successful activities. Specifically, ESSL developed and manages the only multinational database of severe weather reports in Europe: the European Severe Weather Database (ESWD). Despite efforts to eliminate biases, the ESWD still suffers from spatial inhomogeneities in data collection, which motivates ESSL’s research into modeling climatologies by combining ESWD data with reanalysis data. ESSL also established its ESSL Testbed to evaluate developmental forecast products and to provide training to forecasters. The testbed is organized in close collaboration with several of Europe’s national weather services. In addition, ESSL serves a central role among the European scientific and forecast communities for convective storms, specifically through its training activities and the series of European Conferences on Severe Storms. Finally, ESSL conducts wind and tornado damage assessments, highlighted by its recent survey of a violent tornado in northern Italy.

Open access
I. A. Renfrew
,
R. S. Pickart
,
K. Våge
,
G. W. K. Moore
,
T. J. Bracegirdle
,
A. D. Elvidge
,
E. Jeansson
,
T. Lachlan-Cope
,
L. T. McRaven
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L. Papritz
,
J. Reuder
,
H. Sodemann
,
A. Terpstra
,
S. Waterman
,
H. Valdimarsson
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A. Weiss
,
M. Almansi
,
F. Bahr
,
A. Brakstad
,
C. Barrell
,
J. K. Brooke
,
B. J. Brooks
,
I. M. Brooks
,
M. E. Brooks
,
E. M. Bruvik
,
C. Duscha
,
I. Fer
,
H. M. Golid
,
M. Hallerstig
,
I. Hessevik
,
J. Huang
,
L. Houghton
,
S. Jónsson
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M. Jonassen
,
K. Jackson
,
K. Kvalsund
,
E. W. Kolstad
,
K. Konstali
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J. Kristiansen
,
R. Ladkin
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P. Lin
,
A. Macrander
,
A. Mitchell
,
H. Olafsson
,
A. Pacini
,
C. Payne
,
B. Palmason
,
M. D. Pérez-Hernández
,
A. K. Peterson
,
G. N. Petersen
,
M. N. Pisareva
,
J. O. Pope
,
A. Seidl
,
S. Semper
,
D. Sergeev
,
S. Skjelsvik
,
H. Søiland
,
D. Smith
,
M. A. Spall
,
T. Spengler
,
A. Touzeau
,
G. Tupper
,
Y. Weng
,
K. D. Williams
,
X. Yang
, and
S. Zhou

Abstract

The Iceland Greenland Seas Project (IGP) is a coordinated atmosphere–ocean research program investigating climate processes in the source region of the densest waters of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation. During February and March 2018, a field campaign was executed over the Iceland and southern Greenland Seas that utilized a range of observing platforms to investigate critical processes in the region, including a research vessel, a research aircraft, moorings, sea gliders, floats, and a meteorological buoy. A remarkable feature of the field campaign was the highly coordinated deployment of the observing platforms, whereby the research vessel and aircraft tracks were planned in concert to allow simultaneous sampling of the atmosphere, the ocean, and their interactions. This joint planning was supported by tailor-made convection-permitting weather forecasts and novel diagnostics from an ensemble prediction system. The scientific aims of the IGP are to characterize the atmospheric forcing and the ocean response of coupled processes; in particular, cold-air outbreaks in the vicinity of the marginal ice zone and their triggering of oceanic heat loss, and the role of freshwater in the generation of dense water masses. The campaign observed the life cycle of a long-lasting cold-air outbreak over the Iceland Sea and the development of a cold-air outbreak over the Greenland Sea. Repeated profiling revealed the immediate impact on the ocean, while a comprehensive hydrographic survey provided a rare picture of these subpolar seas in winter. A joint atmosphere–ocean approach is also being used in the analysis phase, with coupled observational analysis and coordinated numerical modeling activities underway.

Open access
H. J. Christian
,
R. L. Frost
,
P. H. Gillaspy
,
S. J. Goodman
,
O. H. Vaughan Jr.
,
M. Brook
,
B. Vonnegut
, and
R. E. Orville

In order to determine how to achieve orders of magnitude improvement in spatial and temporal resolution and in sensitivity of satellite lightning sensors, better quantitative measurements of the characteristics of the optical emissions from lightning as observed from above tops of thunderclouds are required. A number of sensors have been developed and integrated into an instrument package and flown aboard a NASA U-2 aircraft. The objectives have been to acquire optical lightning data needed for designing the lightning mapper sensor, and to study lightning physics and the correlation of lightning activity with storm characteristics. The instrumentation and observations of the program are reviewed and their significance for future research is discussed.

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