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Kristine Harper, Louis W. Uccellini, Eugenia Kalnay, Kenneth Carey, and Lauren Morone

The National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP), Air Force Weather Agency (AFWA), Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center (FNMOC), National Weather Association, and American Meteorological Society (AMS) cosponsored a “Symposium on the 50th Anniversary of Operational Numerical Weather Prediction,” on 14–17 June 2004 at the University of Maryland, College Park in College Park, Maryland. Operational numerical weather prediction (NWP) in the United States started with the Joint Numerical Weather Prediction Unit (JNWPU) on 1 July 1954, staffed by members of the U.S. Weather Bureau, the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Navy. The origins of NCEP, AFWA, and FNMOC can all be traced to the JNWPU. The symposium celebrated the pioneering developments in NWP and the remarkable improvements in forecast skill and support of the nation's economy, well being, and national defense achieved over the last 50 years. This essay was inspired by the presentations from that symposium.

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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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Donald R. MacGorman, W. David Rust, Terry J. Schuur, Michael I. Biggerstaff, Jerry M. Straka, Conrad L. Ziegler, Edward R. Mansell, Eric C. Bruning, Kristin M. Kuhlman, Nicole R. Lund, Nicholas S. Biermann, Clark Payne, Larry D. Carey, Paul R. Krehbiel, William Rison, Kenneth B. Eack, and William H. Beasley

The field program of the Thunderstorm Electrification and Lightning Experiment (TELEX) took place in central Oklahoma, May–June 2003 and 2004. It aimed to improve understanding of the interrelationships among microphysics, kinematics, electrification, and lightning in a broad spectrum of storms, particularly squall lines and storms whose electrical structure is inverted from the usual vertical polarity. The field program was built around two permanent facilities: the KOUN polarimetric radar and the Oklahoma Lightning Mapping Array. In addition, balloon-borne electric-field meters and radiosondes were launched together from a mobile laboratory to measure electric fields, winds, and standard thermodynamic parameters inside storms. In 2004, two mobile C-band Doppler radars provided high-resolution coordinated volume scans, and another mobile facility provided the environmental soundings required for modeling studies. Data were obtained from 22 storm episodes, including several small isolated thunderstorms, mesoscale convective systems, and supercell storms. Examples are presented from three storms. A heavy-precipitation supercell storm on 29 May 2004 produced greater than three flashes per second for 1.5 h. Holes in the lightning density formed and dissipated sequentially in the very strong updraft and bounded weak echo region of the mesocyclone. In a small squall line on 19 June 2004, most lightning flashes in the stratiform region were initiated in or near strong updrafts in the convective line and involved positive charge in the upper part of the radar bright band. In a small thunderstorm on 29 June 2004, lightning activity began as polarimetric signatures of graupel first appeared near lightning initiation regions.

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Mary C. Barth, Christopher A. Cantrell, William H. Brune, Steven A. Rutledge, James H. Crawford, Heidi Huntrieser, Lawrence D. Carey, Donald MacGorman, Morris Weisman, Kenneth E. Pickering, Eric Bruning, Bruce Anderson, Eric Apel, Michael Biggerstaff, Teresa Campos, Pedro Campuzano-Jost, Ronald Cohen, John Crounse, Douglas A. Day, Glenn Diskin, Frank Flocke, Alan Fried, Charity Garland, Brian Heikes, Shawn Honomichl, Rebecca Hornbrook, L. Gregory Huey, Jose L. Jimenez, Timothy Lang, Michael Lichtenstern, Tomas Mikoviny, Benjamin Nault, Daniel O’Sullivan, Laura L. Pan, Jeff Peischl, Ilana Pollack, Dirk Richter, Daniel Riemer, Thomas Ryerson, Hans Schlager, Jason St. Clair, James Walega, Petter Weibring, Andrew Weinheimer, Paul Wennberg, Armin Wisthaler, Paul J. Wooldridge, and Conrad Ziegler

Abstract

The Deep Convective Clouds and Chemistry (DC3) field experiment produced an exceptional dataset on thunderstorms, including their dynamical, physical, and electrical structures and their impact on the chemical composition of the troposphere. The field experiment gathered detailed information on the chemical composition of the inflow and outflow regions of midlatitude thunderstorms in northeast Colorado, west Texas to central Oklahoma, and northern Alabama. A unique aspect of the DC3 strategy was to locate and sample the convective outflow a day after active convection in order to measure the chemical transformations within the upper-tropospheric convective plume. These data are being analyzed to investigate transport and dynamics of the storms, scavenging of soluble trace gases and aerosols, production of nitrogen oxides by lightning, relationships between lightning flash rates and storm parameters, chemistry in the upper troposphere that is affected by the convection, and related source characterization of the three sampling regions. DC3 also documented biomass-burning plumes and the interactions of these plumes with deep convection.

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