Olympic Mountains Experiment
The Olympic Mountains Experiment (OLYMPEX) was a ground validation field campaign designed to verify and validate satellite measurements of precipitation from the constellation of satellites known as the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM). The primary goal of OLYMPEX was to validate rain and snow measurements in midlatitude frontal systems moving from ocean to coast to mountains and to determine how remotely sensed measurements of precipitation by GPM can be applied to a range of hydrologic, weather forecasting and climate data. OLYMPEX had a wide variety of ground instrumentation, several radars and aircraft monitoring oceanic storm systems as they approach and traverse the Olympic Peninsula and the Olympic Mountains. The intensive observing period took place from November 2015 through February 2016.
EOL supported OLYMPEX with the deployment of the AVAPS Dropsonde System on the NASA DC-8, one of the two research aircraft involved with this project. The DC-8 flew at approximately 30,000' dropping sondes over the ocean, just offshore of the Olympic Peninsula.The dropsondes will help to characterize the thermodynamic and wind environments of incoming storms, upstream of the ground-based rawinsonde sites near the Washington coast. The soundings will be important for evaluating the robustness of temperature and water vapor assumptions in GPM algorithms.
The Center for Severe Weather Research Doppler on Wheels mobile radar was deployed for this project with the scientific goal of obtaining further data on and testing hypotheses regarding the orographic enhancement of precipitation during frontal passages over mountain ranges.
Read more about the University of Washington/NASA OLYMPEX project.