SCOOP: Study of COnvective and Orographic Precipitation

Fig. 1: Topographic map of research sites: Mountain Research Station
(A1, B1, C1, Soddie), CU campus at Boulder, NCAR's Marsahll field,
CSU-CHILL radar in Greeley, and the NWS-88D radar in Denver. Height
above sea level is shown in upper right corner. Click to enlarge.

This project combines data analysis with a field experiment with the purpose of investigating the multi-scale interactions existing between kinematic and microphysical processes during orographic precipitation events. The overarching goal is: i) to assess the relationship between precipitation characteristics and upstream conditions along the Colorado Front Range; ii) to estimate strength and persistence of convective and mesoscale features and their effects on microphysics; and iii) to study those forcing mechanisms and microphysical processes that govern efficiency, rapid intensification, and characteristics of precipitation.

In order to achieve these objectives data from operational and research stations will be used which are located east of and within the Colorado Front Range (Fig. 1). The operational instruments include the NWS Doppler Radar and the operational sounding in Denver. Research instruments include the Colorado State University CSU-CHILL dual-polarization Doppler radar (CSU-CHILL in Fig. 1), surface instruments and vertical-pointing radars operated by National Center for Atmospheric Research at  Marshall field site (Marshall in Fig. 1), and instruments operated by the University of Colorado. CU instruments are located at the Duane Physics building on CU Boulder campus (Boulder in Fig. 1) and at the CU Mountain Research Stations C1 (Fig. 2) and Soddie (Fig. 3). Currently, CU's vertical pointing microwave rain radar and NCAR's disdrometer and raingauge are installed at CU Mountain Research Station at C1.

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Figure 2: CU Mountain Research Station C1.

Figure 3: CU Mountain Research Station Soddie.