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A storm safari in Subtropical South America: proyecto RELAMPAGO

Stephen W. Nesbitt1Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, USA.

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Paola V. Salio2Centro de Investigaciones del Mar y la Atmósfera, CONICET-UBA. Departamento de Ciencias de la Atmósfera y los Océanos, UBA, UMI-IFAECI, CNRS-CONICET-UBA, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

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Eldo Ávila3Facultad de Matemática, Astronomía, Física y Computación, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba. Instituto de Física Enrique Gaviola, CONICET, Córdoba, Argentina.

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Phillip Bitzer4Atmospheric Science Department, University of Alabama, Huntsville, Alabama, USA.

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Lawrence Carey4Atmospheric Science Department, University of Alabama, Huntsville, Alabama, USA.

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V. Chandrasekar5Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA.

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Wiebke Deierling6Aerospace Engineering Sciences Department, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, Colorado, USA
7National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado, USA.

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Francina Dominguez1Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, USA.

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Maria Eugenia Dillon8Servicio Meteorológico Nacional, Buenos Aires, Argentina
9Comité Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas, Argentina.

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C. Marcelo Garcia10Facultad de Ciencias Exactas, Físicas y Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Córdoba, Argentina.

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David Gochis7National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado, USA.

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Steven Goodman11Thunderbolt Global Analytics, Huntsville, AL, USA.

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Deanna A. Hence1Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, USA.

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Karen A. Kosiba12Center for Severe Weather Research, Boulder, Colorado, USA.

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Matthew R. Kumjian13Department of Meteorology and Atmospheric Science, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania, USA.

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Timothy Lang14NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, Alabama, USA.

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Lorena Medina Luna7National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado, USA.

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James Marquis15Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Washington, USA.

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Robert Marshall6Aerospace Engineering Sciences Department, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, Colorado, USA

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Lynn A. McMurdie16Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA.

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Ernani Lima Nascimento17Universidade Federal de Santa Maria, Santa Maria, Brazil.

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Kristen L. Rasmussen5Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA.

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Rita Roberts7National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado, USA.

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Angela K. Rowe18Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, USA.

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Juan José Ruiz2Centro de Investigaciones del Mar y la Atmósfera, CONICET-UBA. Departamento de Ciencias de la Atmósfera y los Océanos, UBA, UMI-IFAECI, CNRS-CONICET-UBA, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

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Eliah F.M.T. São Sabbas19Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais, São José dos Campos, Brazil

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A. Celeste Saulo8Servicio Meteorológico Nacional, Buenos Aires, Argentina
9Comité Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas, Argentina.

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Russ S. Schumacher5Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA.

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Yanina Garcia Skabar8Servicio Meteorológico Nacional, Buenos Aires, Argentina
9Comité Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas, Argentina.

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Luiz Augusto Toledo Machado19Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais, São José dos Campos, Brazil

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Robert J. Trapp1Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, USA.

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Adam Varble15Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Washington, USA.

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James Wilson7National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado, USA.

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Joshua Wurman12Center for Severe Weather Research, Boulder, Colorado, USA.

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Edward J. Zipser20University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.

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Ivan Arias5Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA.

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Hernán Bechis2Centro de Investigaciones del Mar y la Atmósfera, CONICET-UBA. Departamento de Ciencias de la Atmósfera y los Océanos, UBA, UMI-IFAECI, CNRS-CONICET-UBA, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

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Maxwell A. Grover1Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, USA.

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Abstract

This article provides an overview of the experimental design, execution, education and public outreach, data collection, and initial scientific results from the Remote sensing of Electrification, Lightning, And Mesoscale/microscale Processes with Adaptive Ground Observations (RELAMPAGO) field campaign. RELAMPAGO was a major field campaign conducted in Córdoba and Mendoza provinces in Argentina, and western Rio Grande do Sul State in Brazil in 2018-2019 that involved more than 200 scientists and students from the US, Argentina, and Brazil. This campaign was motivated by the physical processes and societal impacts of deep convection that frequently initiates in this region, often along the complex terrain of the Sierras de Córdoba and Andes, and often grows rapidly upscale into dangerous storms that impact society. Observed storms during the experiment produced copious hail, intense flash flooding, extreme lightning flash rates and other unusual lightning phenomena, but few tornadoes. The 5 distinct scientific foci of RELAMPAGO: convection initiation, severe weather, upscale growth, hydrometeorology, and lightning and electrification are described, as are the deployment strategies to observe physical processes relevant to these foci. The campaign’s international cooperation, forecasting efforts, and mission planning strategies enabled a successful data collection effort. In addition, the legacy of RELAMPAGO in South America, including extensive multi-national education, public outreach, and social media data-gathering associated with the campaign, is summarized.

Corresponding author: Stephen W. Nesbitt, Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1301 W. Green St., Urbana, IL 61801 snesbitt@illinois.edu

Abstract

This article provides an overview of the experimental design, execution, education and public outreach, data collection, and initial scientific results from the Remote sensing of Electrification, Lightning, And Mesoscale/microscale Processes with Adaptive Ground Observations (RELAMPAGO) field campaign. RELAMPAGO was a major field campaign conducted in Córdoba and Mendoza provinces in Argentina, and western Rio Grande do Sul State in Brazil in 2018-2019 that involved more than 200 scientists and students from the US, Argentina, and Brazil. This campaign was motivated by the physical processes and societal impacts of deep convection that frequently initiates in this region, often along the complex terrain of the Sierras de Córdoba and Andes, and often grows rapidly upscale into dangerous storms that impact society. Observed storms during the experiment produced copious hail, intense flash flooding, extreme lightning flash rates and other unusual lightning phenomena, but few tornadoes. The 5 distinct scientific foci of RELAMPAGO: convection initiation, severe weather, upscale growth, hydrometeorology, and lightning and electrification are described, as are the deployment strategies to observe physical processes relevant to these foci. The campaign’s international cooperation, forecasting efforts, and mission planning strategies enabled a successful data collection effort. In addition, the legacy of RELAMPAGO in South America, including extensive multi-national education, public outreach, and social media data-gathering associated with the campaign, is summarized.

Corresponding author: Stephen W. Nesbitt, Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1301 W. Green St., Urbana, IL 61801 snesbitt@illinois.edu
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