Greg McFarquhar                                                               University of Illinois


The NASA ER-2 returns home to Houston, Texas after a successful flight over Oklahoma. Example of fields of fair weather cumuli sampled during CLASIC by the MAS (MODIS Airborne Simulator) CLASIC was conducted during 2007. We had hoped to sample cumuli fields over surfaces with varying soil moisture: however, we mostly encountered wet, saturated conditions.
CLASIC: The primary goal of the Cloud Land Surface Interaction Campaign (CLASIC) was to improve understanding of the physics of cumulus convection, particularly as it relates to underlying land surface conditions. CLASIC was centered over the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program (ARM)'s Southern Great Plains (SGP) site in June 2007, with multiple aircraft and surface remote sensing instruments involved. The principle questions addressed by CLASIC include the following: 1) What are the roles of cumulus convection and spatial variations in land cover in depleting low-level water vapor as it is advected into the SGP region? 2) What are the relationships between cumulus clouds and aerosols and the soil-plant-atmosphere exchange of energy, carbon and water at the site? 3) How do land cover changes, such as agricultural harvesting, impact surface energy, carbon and water fluxes, and can they impact local and regional cumulus cloud formation at the SGP site? 4) How do land surface processes at the SGP affect atmospheric aerosol loading and chemistry and what are the resulting effects on the microphysical and macrophysical properties of cumulus cloud fields? and 5) What roles do plant transpiration and surface evaporation from soil and root zone moisture play in latent and sensible heat flux and cumulus cloud formation at the site?
Uof Illinois Role and Interests:The work of the Illinois group was sponsored by the Department of Energy Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program Aerial Vehicle Program (AVP) and was centered around activities of the NASA ER-2, which was based out of Houston, Texas. Professor Greg McFarquhar and Prof. Brian Jewett each spent half of the project in Houston, Texas, serving as Chief Scientist for the NASA ER-2 aircraft, setting the flight tracks and doing analysis and quality control of the ER-2 data streams.

Refereed Publications arising from CLASIC:

Miller, M. et al., 2010: The Cloud Land Surface Interaction Campaign (CLASIC). Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., In preparation.

Thesis arising from CLASIC:

Opportunities exsit for incoming students!