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Nasa's Tropical Cloud Systems and Processes Experiment

Investigating Tropical Cyclogenesis and Hurricane Intensity Change

J. Halverson
,
M. Black
,
S. Braun
,
D. Cecil
,
M. Goodman
,
A. Heymsfield
,
G . Heymsfield
,
R. Hood
,
T. Krishnamurti
,
G. McFarquhar
,
M. J. Mahoney
,
J. Molinari
,
R. Rogers
,
J. Turk
,
C. Velden
,
D.-L. Zhang
,
E. Zipser
, and
R. Kakar

In July 2005, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration investigated tropical cyclogenesis, hurricane structure, and intensity change in the eastern North Pacific and western Atlantic using its ER-2 high-altitude research aircraft. The campaign, called the Tropical Cloud Systems and Processes (TCSP) experiment, was conducted in conjunction with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Hurricane Research Division's Intensity Forecasting Experiment. A number of in situ and remote sensor datasets were collected inside and above four tropical cyclones representing a broad spectrum of tropical cyclone intensity and development in diverse environments. While the TCSP datasets directly address several key hypotheses governing tropical cyclone formation, including the role of vertical wind shear, dynamics of convective bursts, and upscale growth of the initial vortex, two of the storms sampled were also unusually strong, early season storms. Highlights from the genesis missions are described in this article, along with some of the unexpected results from the campaign. Interesting observations include an extremely intense, highly electrified convective tower in the eyewall of Hurricane Emily and a broad region of mesoscale subsidence detected in the lower stratosphere over landfalling Tropical Storm Gert.

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J. A. Curry
,
P. V. Hobbs
,
M. D. King
,
D. A. Randall
,
P. Minnis
,
G. A. Isaac
,
J. O. Pinto
,
T. Uttal
,
A. Bucholtz
,
D. G. Cripe
,
H. Gerber
,
C. W. Fairall
,
T. J. Garrett
,
J. Hudson
,
J. M. Intrieri
,
C. Jakob
,
T. Jensen
,
P. Lawson
,
D. Marcotte
,
L. Nguyen
,
P. Pilewskie
,
A. Rangno
,
D. C. Rogers
,
K. B. Strawbridge
,
F. P. J. Valero
,
A. G. Williams
, and
D. Wylie

An overview is given of the First ISCCP Regional Experiment Arctic Clouds Experiment that was conducted during April–July 1998. The principal goal of the field experiment was to gather the data needed to examine the impact of arctic clouds on the radiation exchange between the surface, atmosphere, and space, and to study how the surface influences the evolution of boundary layer clouds. The observations will be used to evaluate and improve climate model parameterizations of cloud and radiation processes, satellite remote sensing of cloud and surface characteristics, and understanding of cloud–radiation feedbacks in the Arctic. The experiment utilized four research aircraft that flew over surface-based observational sites in the Arctic Ocean and at Barrow, Alaska. This paper describes the programmatic and scientific objectives of the project, the experimental design (including research platforms and instrumentation), the conditions that were encountered during the field experiment, and some highlights of preliminary observations, modeling, and satellite remote sensing studies.

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Robert M. Rauber
,
Bjorn Stevens
,
Harry T. Ochs III
,
Charles Knight
,
B. A. Albrecht
,
A. M. Blyth
,
C. W. Fairall
,
J. B. Jensen
,
S. G. Lasher-Trapp
,
O. L. Mayol-Bracero
,
G. Vali
,
J. R. Anderson
,
B. A. Baker
,
A. R. Bandy
,
E. Burnet
,
J.-L. Brenguier
,
W. A. Brewer
,
P. R. A. Brown
,
R Chuang
,
W. R. Cotton
,
L. Di Girolamo
,
B. Geerts
,
H. Gerber
,
S. Göke
,
L. Gomes
,
B. G. Heikes
,
J. G. Hudson
,
P. Kollias
,
R. R Lawson
,
S. K. Krueger
,
D. H. Lenschow
,
L. Nuijens
,
D. W. O'Sullivan
,
R. A. Rilling
,
D. C. Rogers
,
A. P. Siebesma
,
E. Snodgrass
,
J. L. Stith
,
D. C. Thornton
,
S. Tucker
,
C. H. Twohy
, and
P. Zuidema

Shallow, maritime cumuli are ubiquitous over much of the tropical oceans, and characterizing their properties is important to understanding weather and climate. The Rain in Cumulus over the Ocean (RICO) field campaign, which took place during November 2004–January 2005 in the trades over the western Atlantic, emphasized measurements of processes related to the formation of rain in shallow cumuli, and how rain subsequently modifies the structure and ensemble statistics of trade wind clouds. Eight weeks of nearly continuous S-band polarimetric radar sampling, 57 flights from three heavily instrumented research aircraft, and a suite of ground- and ship-based instrumentation provided data on trade wind clouds with unprecedented resolution. Observational strategies employed during RICO capitalized on the advances in remote sensing and other instrumentation to provide insight into processes that span a range of scales and that lie at the heart of questions relating to the cause and effects of rain from shallow maritime cumuli.

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Robert M. Rauber
,
Harry T. Ochs III
,
L. Di Girolamo
,
S. Göke
,
E. Snodgrass
,
Bjorn Stevens
,
Charles Knight
,
J. B. Jensen
,
D. H. Lenschow
,
R. A. Rilling
,
D. C. Rogers
,
J. L. Stith
,
B. A. Albrecht
,
P. Zuidema
,
A. M. Blyth
,
C. W. Fairall
,
W. A. Brewer
,
S. Tucker
,
S. G. Lasher-Trapp
,
O. L. Mayol-Bracero
,
G. Vali
,
B. Geerts
,
J. R. Anderson
,
B. A. Baker
,
R. P. Lawson
,
A. R. Bandy
,
D. C. Thornton
,
E. Burnet
,
J-L. Brenguier
,
L. Gomes
,
P. R. A. Brown
,
P. Chuang
,
W. R. Cotton
,
H. Gerber
,
B. G. Heikes
,
J. G. Hudson
,
P. Kollias
,
S. K. Krueger
,
L. Nuijens
,
D. W. O'Sullivan
,
A. P. Siebesma
, and
C. H. Twohy
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David A. R. Kristovich
,
George S. Young
,
Johannes Verlinde
,
Peter J. Sousounis
,
Pierre Mourad
,
Donald Lenschow
,
Robert M. Rauber
,
Mohan K. Ramamurthy
,
Brian F. Jewett
,
Kenneth Beard
,
Elen Cutrim
,
Paul J. DeMott
,
Edwin W. Eloranta
,
Mark R. Hjelmfelt
,
Sonia M. Kreidenweis
,
Jon Martin
,
James Moore
,
Harry T. Ochs III
,
David C Rogers
,
John Scala
,
Gregory Tripoli
, and
John Young

A severe 5-day lake-effect storm resulted in eight deaths, hundreds of injuries, and over $3 million in damage to a small area of northeastern Ohio and northwestern Pennsylvania in November 1996. In 1999, a blizzard associated with an intense cyclone disabled Chicago and much of the U.S. Midwest with 30–90 cm of snow. Such winter weather conditions have many impacts on the lives and property of people throughout much of North America. Each of these events is the culmination of a complex interaction between synoptic-scale, mesoscale, and microscale processes.

An understanding of how the multiple size scales and timescales interact is critical to improving forecasting of these severe winter weather events. The Lake-Induced Convection Experiment (Lake-ICE) and the Snowband Dynamics Project (SNOWBAND) collected comprehensive datasets on processes involved in lake-effect snowstorms and snowbands associated with cyclones during the winter of 1997/98. This paper outlines the goals and operations of these collaborative projects. Preliminary findings are given with illustrative examples of new state-of-the-art research observations collected. Analyses associated with Lake-ICE and SNOWBAND hold the promise of greatly improving our scientific understanding of processes involved in these important wintertime phenomena.

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