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  • Author or Editor: R. L. Schwaller x
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A. S. Dennis, J. R. Miller Jr., D. E. Cain, and R. L. Schwaller


Rainfall data collected at 67 gages in a 2750 mi2 target area during a four-year randomized cloud seeding experiment in North Dakota have been stratified in a variety of ways and subjected to several kinds of statistical tests. Some stratifications related to cloud model predictions were possible for only the last two years when a rawinsonde station was operated as part of the project. Monte Carlo experiments simulating 500 reruns of the four-year experiment have been used to establish significance levels for the tests within each data stratification.

The analysis provides significant evidence that seeding convective clouds on a determinate set of days leads to 1) an increase in the frequency of rainfall events at the individual target gages, 2) an increase in the average rainfall recorded per rainfall event, and 3) an increase in total rainfall on the target. The set of days to which this evidence applies is those days with dynamic seedability; that is, days for which a cloud model predicted an increase in cloud top height under the influence of silver iodide seeding. Rainfall observations on days when the cloud model predicted no increase in cloud height show no significant differences between seed and no-seed days.

The possibility of bias has been checked by comparing the frequencies of wet and dry days and the averages of several meteorological variables for seed and no-seed days within each stratification, by cross-checking the stratifications, and by comparing rainfall on seed and no-seed days over an area of roughly 50,000 square miles surrounding the target area. There is no obvious bias to account for the significant differences between seed and no-seed days with dynamic seedability.

It is tentatively concluded that dynamic effects, including rainfall increases, were produced by light to moderate silver iodide seeding from below cloud base. The potential rainfall increase resulting from seeding below selected clouds on days with dynamic seedability is estimated at one inch per growing season.

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Toshihisa Matsui, Takamichi Iguchi, Xiaowen Li, Mei Han, Wei-Kuo Tao, Walter Petersen, Tristan L'Ecuyer, Robert Meneghini, William Olson, Christian D. Kummerow, Arthur Y. Hou, Mathew R. Schwaller, Erich F. Stocker, and John Kwiatkowski
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M. P. Jensen, W. A. Petersen, A. Bansemer, N. Bharadwaj, L. D. Carey, D. J. Cecil, S. M. Collis, A. D. Del Genio, B. Dolan, J. Gerlach, S. E. Giangrande, A. Heymsfield, G. Heymsfield, P. Kollias, T. J. Lang, S. W. Nesbitt, A. Neumann, M. Poellot, S. A. Rutledge, M. Schwaller, A. Tokay, C. R. Williams, D. B. Wolff, S. Xie, and E. J. Zipser


The Midlatitude Continental Convective Clouds Experiment (MC3E), a field program jointly led by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission, was conducted in south-central Oklahoma during April–May 2011. MC3E science objectives were motivated by the need to improve our understanding of midlatitude continental convective cloud system life cycles, microphysics, and GPM precipitation retrieval algorithms. To achieve these objectives, a multiscale surface- and aircraft-based in situ and remote sensing observing strategy was employed. A variety of cloud and precipitation events were sampled during MC3E, of which results from three deep convective events are highlighted. Vertical structure, air motions, precipitation drop size distributions, and ice properties were retrieved from multiwavelength radar, profiler, and aircraft observations for a mesoscale convective system (MCS) on 11 May. Aircraft observations for another MCS observed on 20 May were used to test agreement between observed radar reflectivities and those calculated with forward-modeled reflectivity and microwave brightness temperatures using in situ particle size distributions and ice water content. Multiplatform observations of a supercell that occurred on 23 May allowed for an integrated analysis of kinematic and microphysical interactions. A core updraft of 25 m s−1 supported growth of hail and large raindrops. Data collected during the MC3E campaign are being used in a number of current and ongoing research projects and are available through the ARM and NASA data archives.

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