March 4, 2019 to March 29, 2019
Project Location: 
Larimie, WY
Project Description: 

Terrain Effect on Clouds and Precipitation – an Educational Campaign (TECPEC)

Principal Investigators:
Profs. Bart Geerts & Jeff French, Department of Atmospheric Sciences University of Wyoming
Profs. Gannet Hallar, Ed Zipser, and John Lin, Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Utah

Where: Laramie, WY
When: 4-29 March 2019
Facilities: University of Wyoming King Air, Wyoming Cloud Radar, and Wyoming Cloud Lidar

Download full TECPEC summary report


Educational objectives

TECPEC (Terrain Effect on Clouds and Precipitation – an Educational Campaign) was a four week (4-29 March 2019) UWKA/WCR/WCL educational deployment using the University of Wyoming King Air (UWKA) with the W-band Wyoming Cloud Radar (WCR, with three antennas, up, down and slant-down) and the Wyoming Cloud Lidar (WCL, pointing down only). The allotted research flight hours were used effectively, and all instruments on board performed well. A total of 23 research flight hours were flown in 9 research flights, plus 3 test flights flown prior to the research period.

This was a collaboration between University of Wyoming (UW) and the University of Utah (UU). TECPEC involved one undergraduate course and four graduate-level courses:

  • UU ATMOS 3100 (Atmospheric Chemistry and Air Pollution, taught by Drs. John Lin and Gannet Hallar)
  • UU ATMOS 5130 (Atmospheric Thermodynamics, taught by Dr. Gannet Hallar)
  • UW ATSC 5350 (Radar Meteorology, taught by Dr. Jeff French)
  • UW ATSC 5016 (Synoptic and Mesoscale Meteorology, taught by Dr. Bart Geerts)
  • UU ATMOS 6230 (Mesoscale / Radar Meteorology, taught by Dr. Ed Zipser)

TECPEC had the following primary goals:

  1. To provide opportunities for graduate students to investigate orographic clouds and precipitation using advanced instrumentation with hands-on experience with experimental setup, instrument operation, and data handling, focusing principally on remote-sensors on the UWKA; and
  2. To enable undergraduate students in an Atmospheric Chemistry and Air Pollution class to examine profiles of wind, temperature, aerosol properties, and carbon dioxide in the boundary layer in the Salt Lake Basin.

The following learning outcomes for undergraduate majors and graduate students were achieved:

  • [all] gaining experience in how to successfully deploy a research aircraft to study orographic precipitation systems or air quality in an intramountain basin;
  • [undergraduate] exploring the relationship between wind, temperature, aerosol concentration, and carbon dioxide within the boundary layer, and across the BL top;
  • [graduate] understanding the strength and limitations of airborne and ground-based radars during winter storms in areas of complex terrain;
  • [graduate] gaining knowledge of dual-frequency radar data, and exploring the relationship between cloud microphysics and reflectivity differences (DWR);
  • [graduate] examining the dual-Doppler flow field in winter storms over complex terrain, including the study of small-scale vertical velocity variations.