Clouds are a critical component of the Earth's coupled water and energy cycles. Poor understanding of cloud–radiation–dynamics feedbacks results in large uncertainties in forecasting human-induced climate changes. Better understanding of cloud microphysical and dynamical processes is critical to improving cloud parameterizations in climate models as well as in cloud-resolving models. Airborne in situ and remote sensing can make critical contributions to progress. Here, a new integrated cloud observation capability developed for the University of Wyoming King Air is described. The suite of instruments includes the Wyoming Cloud Lidar, a 183- GHz microwave radiometer, the Wyoming Cloud Radar, and in situ probes. Combined use of these remote sensor measurements yields more complete descriptions of the vertical structure of cloud microphysical properties and of cloud-scale dynamics than that attainable through ground-based remote sensing or in situ sampling alone. Together with detailed in situ data on aerosols, hydrometeors, water vapor, thermodynamic, and air motion parameters, an advanced observational capability was created to study cloud-scale processes from a single aircraft. The Wyoming Airborne Integrated Cloud Observation (WAICO) experiment was conducted to demonstrate these new capabilities and examples are presented to illustrate the results obtained.
Wang, Zhien; French, Jeffrey; Vali, Gabor; Wechsler, Perry; Haimov, Samuel; Rodi, Alfred; Deng, Min; Leon, Dave; Snider, Jeff; Peng, Liran; and Pazmany, Andrew L. (2012). "Single Aircraft Integration of Remote Sensing and In Situ Sampling for the Study of Cloud Microphysics and Dynamics." Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 93.5, 653-668.