Field Projects

Although models, theoretical studies and laboratory work play a major role in the atmospheric sciences, ultimately new theories and model simulations must be tested and evaluate through observations of the state of the atmosphere. The work of Prof. McFarquhar’s group at the University of Oklahoma has concentrated on using observations and multi-scale models in combination in order to improve the representation of clouds in weather and climate models. The measurements are made using aircraft to fly through clouds, measuring the microphysical properties of clouds in-situ. Because cloud properties vary considerably depending upon formation mechanism, height and geographic location, field experiments have been conducted in a wide variety of locations (illustrated above) to better understand what causes variability in cloud properties. Click on the project name below to see some highlights of the project and the group members in action (topics, sponsors and aircrafts reflect the McFarquhar group effort and may represent a subset of the funding agencies and aircraft involved in the project).

Project Year Base Sponsor Topic Aircraft
Cold-Air outbreak Experiment in Sub-Arctic Region (CAESAR) 2024 Kiruna, Sweden NSF Cold air outbreaks and cloud-aerosol interactions NSF C130
Experiment of Sea Breeze Convection, Aerosols, Precipitation and Environment (ESCAPE) 2022 Houston, TX NSF How aerosols, meteorology and surface forcing affect microphysics of thunderstorms NRC Convair 580 and SPEC Learjet
Tracking Aerosol Convection Interactions Experiment (TRACER) 2022 Houston, TX DOE Aerosol impacts on convection DOE ARM Mobile Facility
Investigation of Microphysics and Precipitation for Atlantic Coast Threatening Snowstorms (IMPACTS) 2020, 2022, 2023 Wallops, Virginia NASA East coast snowstorms NASA P-3 and ER-2
Cold Air Outbreaks in the Marine Boundary Layer Experiment (COMBLE) 2019-20 Andenes, Norway DOE Cold air outbreaks DOE ARM Mobile Facility
Clouds, Aerosol, and Monsoon Processes-Philippines Experiment (CAMP2Ex) 2019 Philippines NASA Cloud-aerosol interactions NASA P-3
Observations of Aerosols Above Clouds and their Interactions (ORACLES) 2018 2017-18 Sao Tome, Africa NASA Biomass aerosol effects on clouds NASA P-3
Southern Ocean Cloud Radiation Transport Experimental Study (SOCRATES) 2018 Hobart, Australia NSF Southern Ocean Clouds NCAR G-V
Measurements of Aerosols, Radiation and Clouds over the Southern Oceans (MARCUS) 2017/18 Hobart, Australia DOE Southern Ocean Clouds Aurora Australis Icebreaker
Observations of Aerosols Above Clouds and their Interactions (ORACLES) 2016 2016 Walvis Bay, Namibia NASA Biomass aerosol effects on clouds NASA P-3 and ER-2
Olympic Mountain Experiment (OLYMPEX) 2015 Seattle, Washington NASA and DOE Orographic and mixed-phase clouds NASA DC-8, ER-2 and UND Citation
Plains Elevated Convection at Night (PECAN) 2015 Salina, Kansas NSF and DOE Nocturnal convection NOAA P-3 and others
High Ice Water Content-2 2015 Cayenne, French Guiana NSF Clouds with high ice contents French Falcon and NRC Convair 580
High Ice Water Content 2014 Darwin, Australia NSF Clouds with high Ice contents French Falcon
Instrument Development and Education in Atmospheric Science-4 (IDEAS-4) 2011 Boulder, Colorado NSF/DOE Characterizing cloud probes NCAR C-130
Profiling of Winter Storms (PLOWS) 2009/10 Peoria, Illinois NSF Snowbands in mid-latitude cyclones NCAR C-130
Small Particles in Cirrus (SPARTICUS) 2009/10 Ponca City, Oklahoma DOE Mid-latitude cirrus SPEC Learjet
RACORO 2009 Guthrie, Oklahoma DOE Clouds with low liquid contents CIRPAS Twin Otter
Cloud and Land Surface Interaction Campaign (CLASIC) 2007 Houston, Texas DOE Cloud land surface interaction NASA ER-2
Gulf of Mexico Aerosol Cloud Composition Study (GoMACCS) 2006 Houston, Texas NOAA Aerosol impacts on cumuli Multiple aircraft
NASA African Multidisciplinary Monsoon Analysis (NAMMA) 2006 Cape Verde Islands, Africa NASA Saharan dust impact on tropical cyclones NASA DC-8
Tropical Warm Pool International Cloud Experiment (TWP-ICE) 2006 Darwin, Australia DOE Tropical convection and cirrus Proteus
Tropical Cloud Systems and Processes (TCSP) 2005 San Jose, Costa Rica NASA Hurricane genesis and intensification NASA ER-2
Mixed-Phase Arctic Cloud Experiment (M-PACE) 2004 Prudhoe Bay, Alaska DOE Mixed-phase arctic clouds UND Citation; Proteus
Alliance Icing Research Study II (AIRS II) 2003 Cleveland, Ohio NSF Aircraft icing NCAR C-130
Bow Echo and Mesoscale Convective Vortex Experiment (BAMEX) 2003 Pasquotah, Illinois NSF Bow echoes and MCSs NOAA and NRL P-3
Convection and Moisture Experiment-4 (CAMEX-4) 2001 Jacksonville, Florida NASA Land-falling hurricanes NASA DC-8 and ER-2
Indian Ocean Experiment (INDOEX) 1999 Male, Maldives NSF Aerosol effects on clouds NCAR C-130
Texas Florida Underpass Experiment (TEFLUN-A) 1998 College Station, Texas NASA TRMM Satellite validation NASA DC-8
SUCCESS 1996 Salina, Kansas NASA Contrails NASA DC-8 and ER-2
Central Equatorial Pacific Experiment (CEPEX) 1993 Nadi, Fiji NSF/NASA Tropical cirrus Aeromet Learjet and NASA ER-2
Canadian Atlantic Storms Program -2 (CASP-2) 1992 St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada Canada Canadian winterstorms NRC Convair 580, ground radar
Malaysian Rain Studies 1990 Penang, Malaysia Canada/Malaysia Warm rain studies King Air and ground radar