Winter Storms and Pacific Atmospheric Rivers
The Winter Storms and Pacific Atmospheric Rivers (WISPAR) field campaign took place over the Pacific Ocean from February 11 to March 10, 2011. The primary scientific objective of WISPAR is to evaluate the capabilities of the unmanned NOAA/NASA Global Hawk (GH) aircraft and NCAR/NOAA dropsonde system for NOAA operations and research. It included three science flights. The first flight on February 11-12 targeted atmospheric rivers to observe and characterize an atmospheric river with a strong tropical connection near Hawaii. The second one on March 3-4 was a winter storms reconnaissance flight with the primary objective of obtaining targeted observations in support of forecasted cyclogenesis in the Midwest on 6 March. The third one on March 9-10 was an Arctic flight with objectives of operational demonstration of the GH and dropsonde system in the Arctic environment, comparison with ground observations from Barrow site, sampling within the Arctic vortex, and making two high-density transects of an atmospheric river.