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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 8, issue 1
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 8, 421-434, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-8-421-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 8, 421-434, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-8-421-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 27 Jan 2015

Research article | 27 Jan 2015

The Midlatitude Continental Convective Clouds Experiment (MC3E) sounding network: operations, processing and analysis

M. P. Jensen1, T. Toto1, D. Troyan1, P. E. Ciesielski2, D. Holdridge3, J. Kyrouac3, J. Schatz4, Y. Zhang5, and S. Xie5 M. P. Jensen et al.
  • 1Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY, USA
  • 2Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, USA
  • 3Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, IL, USA
  • 4ARM Climate Research Facility, Southern Great Plains site, Billings, OK, USA
  • 5Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA, USA

Abstract. The Midlatitude Continental Convective Clouds Experiment (MC3E) took place during the spring of 2011 centered in north-central Oklahoma, USA. The main goal of this field campaign was to capture the dynamical and microphysical characteristics of precipitating convective systems in the US Central Plains. A major component of the campaign was a six-site radiosonde array designed to capture the large-scale variability of the atmospheric state with the intent of deriving model forcing data sets. Over the course of the 46-day MC3E campaign, a total of 1362 radiosondes were launched from the enhanced sonde network. This manuscript provides details on the instrumentation used as part of the sounding array, the data processing activities including quality checks and humidity bias corrections and an analysis of the impacts of bias correction and algorithm assumptions on the determination of convective levels and indices. It is found that corrections for known radiosonde humidity biases and assumptions regarding the characteristics of the surface convective parcel result in significant differences in the derived values of convective levels and indices in many soundings. In addition, the impact of including the humidity corrections and quality controls on the thermodynamic profiles that are used in the derivation of a large-scale model forcing data set are investigated. The results show a significant impact on the derived large-scale vertical velocity field illustrating the importance of addressing these humidity biases.

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A major component of the 2011 Midlatitude Continental Convective Clouds Experiment (MC3E) was a six-site radiosonde array designed to capture the large-scale variability of the atmospheric state. This manuscript describes the details of the MC3E radiosonde operations including the instrumentation, data processing and analysis of the impacts of bias correction and algorithm assumptions on the determination of forcing data sets.
A major component of the 2011 Midlatitude Continental Convective Clouds Experiment (MC3E) was a...
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