AMF Deployment, Black Forest, Germany
Main Site: 48° 32' 24.18" N, 08° 23' 48.72" E
Altitude: 511.43 meters
In March 2007, the third deployment of the ARM Mobile Facility (AMF) will take place in the Black Forest region of Germany, where scientists will study rainfall resulting from atmospheric uplift (convection) in mountainous terrain, otherwise known as orographic precipitation. ARM Program scientists will collaborate with researchers from the University of Hohenheim as part of the long-term Convective and Orographically Induced Precipitation Study, or COPS. The AMF will be deployed in the village of Heselbach in the Murg Valley.
The COPS region is characterized by significant amounts of orographic precipitation, particularly in the summertime. Due to major challenges in predicting this type of precipitation, the area was chosen as a natural laboratory for a 9-month convection study within the 6-year duration of the German Quantitative Precipitation Forecasting (QPF) Program. The aim of this program is to identify the reasons for deficiencies in rainfall as predicted by the QPF. The AMF will collect data midway along the orographic path that, when combined with coincident radar and satellite observational data prior to significant convection and during maximum convection, will be used to improve the representation of convective clouds in models and to develop strategies for determining cloud climatologies in complex terrain.
Specific goals of the 6-year QPF program—funded by the German Research Foundation—are to:
- Identify the physical and chemical processes responsible for deficits
- Explore and apply existing and new data sets for improved representation of relevant processes
- Determine the predictability of precipitation using statistical dynamical analyses.
Information obtained during COPS will not only aid regional weather forecasts to help protect people and land, but will also help scientists determine how clouds affect the climate in complex terrain around the world. Because of its relevance to society, COPS has been endorsed as a Research and Development Project by the World Weather Research Program. This program was established by the World Meteorological Organization to develop improved and cost-effective forecasting techniques, with an emphasis on high-impact weather. As one of their projects, COPS will be coordinated with additional program activities to result in one of the largest international weather research efforts performed to date in Europe.
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