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The North Dakota Thunderstorm Project: A Cooperative Study of High Plains Thunderstorms

Bruce A. Boe
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Jeffrey L. Stith
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Paul L. Smith
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John H. Hirsch
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John H. Helsdon Jr.
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Andrew G. Detwiler
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Harold D. Orville
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Brooks E. Mariner
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Roger F. Reinking
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Rebecca J. Meitín
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Rodger A. Brown
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The North Dakota Thunderstorm Project was conducted in the Bismarck, North Dakota, area from 12 June through 22 July 1989. The project deployed Doppler radars, cloud physics aircraft, and supporting instrumentation to study a variety of aspects of convective clouds. These included transport and dispersion; entrainment; cloud-ice initiation and evolution; storm structure, dynamics, and kinematics; atmospheric chemistry; and electrification.

Of primary interest were tracer experiments that identified and tracked specific regions within evolving clouds as a means of investigating the transport, dispersion, and activation of ice-nucleating agents as well as studying basic transport and entrainment processes. Tracers included sulfur hexafluoride (SF6), carbon monoxide, ozone, radar chaff, and silver iodide.

Doppler radars were used to perform studies of all scales of convection, from first-echo cases to a mesoscale convective system. An especially interesting dual-Doppler study of two splitting thunderstorms has resulted.

The objectives of the various project experiments and the specific facilities employed are described. Project highlights and some preliminary results are also presented.

*Atmospheric Resource Board, North Dakota State Water Commission, Bismarck, ND.

+Center for Aerospace Sciences, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND.

**Institute of Atmospheric Sciences, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, Rapid City, SD.

++NOAA/ERL Wave Propagation Laboratory, Boulder, CO.

***NOAA Cooperative Institute for Research in the Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO.

+++NOAA/ERL National Severe Storms Laboratory, Norman, OK.

The North Dakota Thunderstorm Project was conducted in the Bismarck, North Dakota, area from 12 June through 22 July 1989. The project deployed Doppler radars, cloud physics aircraft, and supporting instrumentation to study a variety of aspects of convective clouds. These included transport and dispersion; entrainment; cloud-ice initiation and evolution; storm structure, dynamics, and kinematics; atmospheric chemistry; and electrification.

Of primary interest were tracer experiments that identified and tracked specific regions within evolving clouds as a means of investigating the transport, dispersion, and activation of ice-nucleating agents as well as studying basic transport and entrainment processes. Tracers included sulfur hexafluoride (SF6), carbon monoxide, ozone, radar chaff, and silver iodide.

Doppler radars were used to perform studies of all scales of convection, from first-echo cases to a mesoscale convective system. An especially interesting dual-Doppler study of two splitting thunderstorms has resulted.

The objectives of the various project experiments and the specific facilities employed are described. Project highlights and some preliminary results are also presented.

*Atmospheric Resource Board, North Dakota State Water Commission, Bismarck, ND.

+Center for Aerospace Sciences, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND.

**Institute of Atmospheric Sciences, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, Rapid City, SD.

++NOAA/ERL Wave Propagation Laboratory, Boulder, CO.

***NOAA Cooperative Institute for Research in the Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO.

+++NOAA/ERL National Severe Storms Laboratory, Norman, OK.

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