J7.2 Highlights of Colorado ground facility operations during DC3

Tuesday, 8 January 2013: 9:00 AM
Room 14 (Austin Convention Center)
Timothy J. Lang, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO; and S. Rutledge, P. Krehbiel, W. Rison, W. O. Brown, P. C. Kennedy, B. Bowie, D. Brunkow, J. George, B. Dolan, A. Rowe, N. Beavis, B. R. Fuchs, T. Lim, L. Verstraete, D. T. Lindsey, and W. A. Lyons

One of the three major regions for operations during the Deep Convective Clouds and Chemistry (DC3) field campaign (May-June 2012) was Colorado. There were three major Colorado ground facilities: the Colorado State University (CSU) CHILL and Pawnee radar network, the newly installed Colorado Lightning Mapping Array (COLMA) by New Mexico Tech, and mobile and fixed sounding platforms operated by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). These facilities acted in concert to provide detailed microphysical, kinematic, electrical, and environmental information about thunderstorms that occurred in the DC3-Colorado network, both in support of DC3 aircraft as well as during non-flight days. This presentation will briefly discuss these facilities and then report on notable cases obtained during the project. Highlights include excellent examples of coordinated ground and aircraft operations on a variety of deep convection; observations of dry electrification in smoke plumes over forest fires; the commonplace anomalous, possibly inverted electrification of even garden-variety thunderstorms; observations of several severe or tornadic hailstorms; and sprite-producing thunderstorms occurring in the heart of the radar and LMA networks. Preliminary analysis of DC3 ground facility data suggests important implications of high cloud bases and possible forest fire smoke ingestion for thunderstorm structure and electrification. These results will be discussed in the context of thunderstorm impacts on atmospheric chemistry.
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