EPIC 2001 Logo and link to the Program Website. Eastern Pacific
Investigation of Climate Processes in the Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere System

Where is the Brown?

  • NSF
  • NOAA

  • EPIC Program
  • EPIC2001
  • JOSS Field Catalog

  • Program Document
  • Operations Plan
  • Cruise Instructions
  • Stratocumulus Study
  • ITCZ Subproject
  • PACS Report

  • Air-Sea Interaction
  • Clouds and Aerosols
  • Radar Research
  • Satellite Research

  • Mini-MOPA Doppler Lidar
  • MM Cloud Radar

  • Flux Data
  • MM Cloud Radar Data
  • Reports from the Field
  • Janet Intrieri
  • John Bates
  • Teachers' at Sea
  • A view of
the RB from the jackstaff.   The lidar and radar are located in seatainers
on the middle deck.
    A view of the RB from the jackstaff. The lidar and radar are located in seatainers on the middle deck.

    The 2001 EPIC Field Program

    EPIC is a joint NOAA/NSF project to study air-ocean coupling in the inter-tropical convergence zone and stratus clouds associated with the equatorial cold tongue in the Eastern Pacific near the Galapagos Islands.

    A fundamental aspect of this program will be an in-situ and remote study of stratocumulus clouds in the region from the NOAA R/V Ron Brown. Subtropical stratocumulus clouds have a strong cooling effect both on the ocean and atmosphere. Furthermore, seasonal and interannual variations in SE Pacific stratocumulus cloud cover are poorly represented in current Global Climate Models and are a key component for coupled modeling of ENSO. It is a central goal of EPIC to document, understand, and better model the structure of the SE Pacific stratocumulus and its effects on the underlying ocean.

    ETL is providing a suite of sensors including cloud radar, lidar, radiometers and flux sensors to study clouds, precipitation and air-sea interactions in addition to supporting flight operations with forecasting and special satellite products.

    For more information about ETL work at EPIC see the following working groups.

    Air-Sea Interaction
    Continuing a three year study of clouds, surface fluxes, and boundary layer properties in the Eastern Pacific as part of the EPIC monitoring program, the Air-Sea Interaction group leads ETL efforts in this area. A Climatology of Stratocumulus Cloud Properties in the PACS Region, C.W. Fairall, et. al. is the latest report on these studies. Measurements of sensible, latent heat and momentum fluxes, broadband radiative fluxes, and surface meteorology for will be taken for the duration of the program to document all terms of the surface heat budget.

    Lidar Research
    Lidar studies provide details on the oceanic winds, clouds, and humidity structure of the atmosphere which contribute to our understand of energy exchanges between the air and sea, the effect of clouds on the heating and cooling at the ocean surface and the movement of air masses between the hotter/humid and cooler/drier regions off South America.

    Radar Research
    The Cloud Radar group operates a Doppler Ka-band cloud radar (MMCR) and a microwave radiometer (MWR) suite developed at ETL which from which many cloud and precipitation characteristics can be derived, including microphysical quantities of ice clouds and drizzle, cloud droplet size, number concentration, liquid water concentration, and in-cloud vertical velocity statistics. These parameters are critical to understanding the ways in which clouds impact energy flux.

    Satellite Research
    The ETL Satellite Research Group is involved in the EPIC 2001 field experiment by providing numerous satellite-derived products that will be used in real-time to support flight operations and later in the data analysis and research steps. Dr. John Bates is leading this effort and will be lead forecaster for aircraft operations on location in Huatulco , Mexico. He will use satellite products developed at ETL and a direct read-out satellite ground station provided by UCAR JOSS to help plan and execute flight operations for the NOAA P3 aircraft and the NSF C-130 aircraft.

    ETL | Lidar | Meteorology | Radar | Satellite