The Convective and Orographically-induced Precipitation Study (COPS): The scientific strategy, the field phase, and research highlights

Volker Wulfmeyer, Andreas Behrendt, Christoph Kottmeier, Ulrich Corsmeier, Christian Barthlott, George C. Craig, Martin Hagen, Dietrich Althausen, Fumiko Aoshima, Marco Arpagaus, Hans Stefan Bauer, Lindsay Bennett, Alan Blyth, Christine Brandau, Cédric Champollion, Susanne Crewell, Galina Dick, Paolo Di Girolamo, Manfred Dorninger, Yann DufournetRafael Eigenmann, Ronny Engelmann, Cyrille Flamant, Thomas Foken, Theresa Gorgas, Matthias Grzeschik, Jan Handwerker, Christian Hauck, Hartmut Höller, Wolfgang Junkermann, Norbert Kalthoff, Christoph Kiemle, Stefan Klink, Marianne König, Liane Krauss, Charles N. Long, Fabio Madonna, Stephen Mobbs, Bruno Neininger, Sandip Pal, Gerhard Peters, Grégoire Pigeon, Evelyne Richard, Mathias W. Rotach, Herman Russchenberg, Thomas Schwitalla, Victoria Smith, Reinhold Steinacker, Jörg Trentmann, David D. Turner, Joel Van Baelen, Siegfried Vogt, Hans Volkert, Tammy Weckwerth, Heini Wernli, Andreas Wieser, Martin Wirth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

148 Scopus citations

Abstract

Within the framework of the international field campaign COPS (Convective and Orographically-induced Precipitation Study), a large suite of state-of-the-art meteorological instrumentation was operated, partially combined for the first time. This includes networks of in situ and remote-sensing systems such as the Global Positioning System as well as a synergy of multi-wavelength passive and active remote-sensing instruments such as advanced radar and lidar systems. The COPS field phase was performed from 01 June to 31 August 2007 in a low-mountain area in southwestern Germany/eastern France covering the Vosges mountains, the Rhine valley and the Black Forest mountains. The collected data set covers the entire evolution of convective precipitation events in complex terrain from their initiation, to their development and mature phase until their decay. Eighteen Intensive Observation Periods with 37 operation days and eight additional Special Observation Periods were performed, providing a comprehensive data set covering different forcing conditions. In this article, an overview of the COPS scientific strategy, the field phase, and its first accomplishments is given. Highlights of the campaign are illustrated with several measurement examples. It is demonstrated that COPS research provides new insight into key processes leading to convection initiation and to the modification of precipitation by orography, in the improvement of quantitative precipitation forecasting by the assimilation of new observations, and in the performance of ensembles of convection-permitting models in complex terrain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-30
Number of pages28
JournalQuarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society
Volume137
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2011

Keywords

  • Aerosol-cloud-precipitation microphysics
  • Convection
  • Data assimilation
  • Land-surface exchange
  • Orography
  • Quantitative precipitation forecasting
  • Thermally induced flow
  • Verification

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