Rain in Cumulus over the Ocean (RICO)
was a field program sponsored by the National Science Foundation whose objectives
were to evaluate precipitation in association with shallow cumulus across a broad range of scales. Specifically:
- what are the principal mechanisms determining rain formation in shallow cumuli?
- how does precipitation affect the structure of individual cumuli?
- to what extent does precipitation determine the aggregate structure of fields of cumuli?
Further information about RICO is provided in the BAMS overview article
These questions span a range of space and time scales, which we tried to sample during two months (December 2004 and January 2005) of measurements over the eastern Atlantic and Western Caribbean. Operations were based out of Antigua and Barbuda, two of the leeward islands in the lesser Antilles. A wide array of instrumentation was deployed, centered around an approximately 100km radius area scanned by the S-Pol radar
. In addition to SPol, RICO featured in situ measurements by three aircraft (University of Wyoming King Air
, FAAM BAE 146
and NCAR C-130
), ground sampling at Antigua, surface measurments from Spanish Point Barbuda, and a wide array of surface layer, and active remote sensing from the R/V Seward Johnson
All images courtesy Bjorn Stevens