J48.1 Overview and Highlights of OTREC

Wednesday, 15 January 2020: 1:30 PM
205B (Boston Convention and Exhibition Center)
Zeljka Fuchs-Stone, New Mexico Tech, Socorro, NM

The OTREC (Organization of Tropical East Pacific Convection) field project takes place from August 5 to September 30, 2019. The operational center is in Costa Rica. During OTREC, we will perform 140 research flight hours in the area of the Eastern Pacific and southwest Caribbean. The tools for the project are 660 dropsondes deployed in a grid to evaluate mesoscale thermodynamic and vorticity budgets, and the Hiaper Cloud Radar to determine the characteristics of cloud populations. Both of these tools are deployed on the NSF/NCAR Gulfstream V aircraft.

The Eastern Pacific has a strong cross-equatorial gradient in sea surface temperature. The southwest Caribbean exhibits uniform ocean temperatures. The two regions together provide a broad range of atmospheric conditions and a great deal of diversity in convective behavior.

The main goal of the project is to study deep convection in diverse environments to improve global weather and climate models. Some of the specific goals are studying the vertical heating profiles of convection in the Eastern Pacific as they are highly uncertain, studying the uncertainties in the ITCZ dynamics and studying the existence of frequent tropical easterly waves. These waves have been shown to intensify in the Eastern Pacific for reasons at least partly due to their interaction with deep convection.

In this talk I will present an overview of OTREC, the highlights of the field project and the preliminary results.

- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner