Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Climate Research Facility US Department of Energy

Midlatitude Continental Convective Clouds Experiment (MC3E): Airborne Instruments

22 April 2011 - 6 June 2011

Lead Scientist: Michael Poellot

Observatory: AAF, SGP

The Midlatitude Continental Convective Clouds Experiment (MC3E) took place in central Oklahoma during the April–May 2011 period. The experiment is a collaborative effort between the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Climate Research Facility and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission Ground Validation (GV) program. The field campaign leveraged the unprecedented observing infrastructure currently available in the central United States, combined with an extensive sounding array, remote sensing and in situ aircraft observations, NASA GPM ground validation remote sensors, and new ARM instrumentation purchased with American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding.

The University of North Dakota (UND) Citation provided in situ observations of precipitation-sized particles, ice freezing nuclei, and aerosol concentrations. In support of the UND aircraft mission, the ARM Aerial Facility provided aircraft probes for use during MC3E. The AAF High Volume Precipitation Spectrometer (HVPS-3) and the Ultra-High Sensitivity Aerosol Spectrometer (UHSAS-A), which allow for a wide range of operating speeds and have high resolution and fast response, were deployed.

It was noted from the outset that the Citation would not be able to penetrate the deepest cores of convection associated with spring-time storms in Oklahoma, and thus, the flight plans emphasized sampling in weaker embedded convection and broad stratiform precipitation. As a complement to the UND Citation’s in situ observations, the NASA ER-2 provided a high-altitude satellite simulator platform that enabled remote sensing observations with a Ka/Ku band radar and passive microwave radiometers.

Related Publications


Finlon J, G McFarquhar, S Nesbitt, R Rauber, H Morrison, W Wu, and P Zhang. 2018. "A novel approach to characterize the variability in mass-Dimension relationships: results from MC3E." Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions, , 10.5194/acp-2018-795.


Fridlind A, X Li, D Wu, M van Lier-Walqui, A Ackerman, W Tao, G McFarquhar, W Wu, X Dong, J Wang, A Ryzhkov, P Zhang, M Poellot, A Neumann, and J Tomlinson. 2017. "Derivation of aerosol profiles for MC3E convection studies and use in simulations of the 20 May squall line case." Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 17(9), 10.5194/acp-17-5947-2017.
Research Highlight

Wong M and M Ovchinnikov. 2017. "A PDF-Based Parameterization of Subgrid-Scale Hydrometeor Transport in Deep Convection." Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 74(4), 10.1175/JAS-D-16-0146.1.
Research Highlight


Jensen MP, WA Petersen, A Bansemer, N Bharadwaj, LD Carey, DJ Cecil, SM Collis, AD Del Genio, B Dolan, J Gerlach, SE Giangrande, G Heymsfield, P Kollias, TJ Lang, SW Nesbitt, A Neumann, M Poellot, SA Rutledge, M Schwaller, A Tokay, CR Williams, DB Wolff, S Xie, and EJ Zipser. 2016. "The Midlatitude Continental Convective Clouds Experiment (MC3E)." Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 97(9), 10.1175/bams-d-14-00228.1.
Research Highlight

Wang J, X Dong, B Xi, and H Andrew. 2016. "Investigation of liquid cloud microphysical properties of deep convective systems: 1. Parameterization of rain drop size distribution and its application for stratiform rain estimate." Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 121(18), 10.1002/2016jd024941.
Research Highlight

Marinescu PJ, SC van den Heever, SM Saleeby, and SM Kreidenweis. 2016. "The microphysical contributions to and evolution of latent heating profiles in two MC3E MCSs." Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 121(13), 10.1002/2016jd024762.

Giangrande SE, T Toto, A Bansemer, MR Kumjian, S Mishra, and A Ryzkhov. 2016. "Insights into riming and aggregation processes as revealed by aircraft, radar, and disdrometer observations for a 27 April 2011 widespread precipitation event." Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 121(10), 10.1002/2015jd024537.
Research Highlight

Williams CR. 2016. "Reflectivity and Liquid Water Content Vertical Decomposition Diagrams to Diagnose Vertical Evolution of Raindrop Size Distributions." Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, 33(3), 10.1175/jtech-d-15-0208.1.
Research Highlight


Mather J. 2015. 2015 Annual Report. Ed. by Robert Stafford, DOE ARM Climate Research Facility. DOE/SC-ARM-15-084.

Pu Z and C Lin. 2015. "Evaluation of double-moment representation of ice hydrometeors in bulk microphysical parameterization: comparison between WRF numerical simulations and UND-Citation data during MC3E." Geoscience Letters, 2(1), 10.1186/s40562-015-0028-x.
Research Highlight

View All Related Publications

Campaign Data Sets

IOP Participant Data Source Name Final Data
Jennifer Comstock High Volume Precip Spectrometer Order Data
Jason Tomlinson Ultra High Sensitivity Aerosol Spectrometer Order Data

SGP Data Sources

Name Full Name Browse Data
ABRFC Arkansas-Red Basin River Forecast Center Browse Data
ACSM Aerosol Chemical Speciation Monitor Browse Data
AERI Atmospheric Emitted Radiance Interferometer Browse Data
AERINF AERI Noise Filtered Browse Data
AERIPROF AERI Profiles of Water Vapor and Temperature Browse Data
AEROSOLBE Aerosol Best Estimate Browse Data
AIP Aerosol Intensive Properties Browse Data
AOD Aerosol Optical Depth, derived from atmospheric extinction of solar irradiance Browse Data
AOS Aerosol Observing System Browse Data
AOSCCNAVG Aerosol Observing System (AOS): cloud condensation nuclei data, averaged Browse Data
AOSMET Meteorological Measurements associated with the Aerosol Observing System Browse Data
ARMBE ARM Best Estimate Data Products Browse Data
ARMBE2DGRID 2D Gridded Surface Data Set Browse Data
ARMBESTNS Station-based Surface Products Browse Data
BAEBBR Best-Estimate Fluxes From EBBR Measurements and Bulk Aerodynamics Calculations Browse Data
BEFLUX Best-Estimate Radiative Flux Browse Data
BRS Broadband Radiometer Station Browse Data
CCN Cloud Condensation Nuclei Particle Counter Browse Data
CCNPROF Cloud Condensation Nuclei Profile Browse Data
CEIL Ceilometer Browse Data
CLAP Continuous Light Absorption Photometer Browse Data
CLDTYPE Cloud Type Classification Browse Data
CO Carbon Monoxide Mixing Ratio System Browse Data
CO2FLX Carbon Dioxide Flux Measurement Systems Browse Data
CPC Condensation Particle Counter Browse Data
CSAPR C-Band Scanning ARM Precipitation Radar Browse Data
CSPHOT Cimel Sunphotometer Browse Data
DISDROMETER Impact Disdrometer Browse Data
DL Doppler Lidar Browse Data
DLPROF Doppler Lidar Profiles Browse Data
EBBR Energy Balance Bowen Ratio Station Browse Data
ECMWFDIAG European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts Diagnostic Analyses Browse Data
ECOR Eddy Correlation Flux Measurement System Browse Data
FLASK Flask Samplers for Carbon Cycle Gases and Isotopes Browse Data
GOES Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites Browse Data
IAP In-situ Aerosol Profiles (Cessna Aerosol Flights) Browse Data
INTERPSONDE Interpolated Sonde Browse Data
IRT Infrared Thermometer Browse Data
KASACR Ka-Band Scanning ARM Cloud Radar Browse Data
KAZR Ka ARM Zenith Radar Browse Data
KAZRARSCL Active Remote Sensing of CLouds (ARSCL) product using Ka-band ARM Zenith Radars Browse Data
KAZRCOR KAZR Corrected Data Browse Data
KSUMESO Kansas State University Mesonet Browse Data
LSSONDE Microwave Radiometer-Scaled Sonde Profiles Browse Data
MERGESONDE Merged Sounding Browse Data
MET Surface Meteorological Instrumentation Browse Data
MFR Multifilter Radiometer Browse Data
MFRSR Multifilter Rotating Shadowband Radiometer Browse Data
MFRSRCLDOD Cloud Optical Properties from MFRSR Using Min Algorithm Browse Data
MMCR Millimeter Wavelength Cloud Radar Browse Data
MOLTS Model Output Location Time Series Browse Data
MPL Micropulse Lidar Browse Data
MPLAVG MPL: data averaged to fixed 30 second interval, e.g. for polarized data Browse Data
MPLCMASK Cloud mask from Micropulse Lidar Browse Data
MWR Microwave Radiometer Browse Data
MWR3C Microwave Radiometer, 3 Channel Browse Data
MWRHF Microwave Radiometer - High Frequency Browse Data
MWRRET MWR Retrievals Browse Data
NEPHELOMETER Nephelometer Browse Data
NFOV Narrow Field of View Zenith Radiometer Browse Data
NIMFR Normal Incidence Multifilter Radiometer Browse Data
NOAACRN NOAA Climate Reference Network Browse Data
NWSUPA National Weather Service Upper Air Measurements Browse Data
OKM Oklahoma Mesonet Browse Data
ORG Optical Rain Gauge Browse Data
OZONE Ozone Monitor Browse Data
PASS Photoacoustic Soot Spectrometer Browse Data
PBLHT Planetary Boundary Layer Height Browse Data
PGS Precision Carbon Dioxide Mixing Ratio System Browse Data
PSAP Particle Soot Absorption Photometer Browse Data
QCECOR Quality Controlled Eddy Correlation Flux Measurement Browse Data
QCRAD Data Quality Assessment for ARM Radiation Data Browse Data
RADFLUXANAL Radiative Flux Analysis Browse Data
RAIN Rain Gauge Browse Data
RL Raman Lidar Browse Data
RLPROF Raman LIDAR Vertical Profiles Browse Data
RUC Rapid Update Cycle Model Data Browse Data
RWP Radar Wind Profiler Browse Data
SASHE Shortwave Array Spectroradiometer-Hemispheric Browse Data
SASZE Shortwave Array Spectroradiometer-Zenith Browse Data
SEBS Surface Energy Balance System Browse Data
SFCCLDGRID Surface Cloud Grid Browse Data
SHALLOWCUMULUS Fair-Weather Shallow Cumulus Identification Browse Data
SIRS Solar and Infrared Radiation Station Browse Data
SODAR Mini Sound Detection and Ranging Browse Data
SONDE Balloon-Borne Sounding System Browse Data
SONDEADJUST Sonde Adjust Browse Data
SONDEGRID Gridded Sonde VAP Product Browse Data
SUOMIGPS SuomiNet Global Positioning System Browse Data
SURFSPECALB Surface Spectral Albedo Browse Data
SURTHREF Surface Temperature and Humidity Reference System for Sondes Browse Data
SWACR W-Band (95 GHz) ARM Cloud Radar, mounted to scan Browse Data
SWATS Soil Water and Temperature System Browse Data
SWFLUXANAL Shortwave Flux Analysis Browse Data
SWS Shortwave Spectroradiometer Browse Data
TDMA Tandem Differential Mobility Analyzer Browse Data
THWAPS Temperature, Humidity, Wind and Pressure Sensors Browse Data
TSI Total Sky Imager Browse Data
TWR Facility-specific multi-level Meteorological Instrumentation Browse Data
TWRMR Tower Water-Vapor Mixing Ratio Browse Data
USDARAD US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Radiation Monitoring Data Browse Data
VDIS Video Disdrometer Browse Data
VISST Minnis Cloud Products Using Visst Algorithm Browse Data
WACR W-Band (95 GHz) ARM Cloud Radar Browse Data
WPDN Wind Profiler Demo Network Browse Data
WPDNGPS Wind Profiler Demonstration Network GPS Browse Data
WSACR W-band Scanning ARM Cloud Radar Browse Data
XSAPR X-Band Scanning ARM Precipitation Radar Browse Data