Short Name:

First ISCCP Regional Experiment (FIRE) Atlantic Stratocumulus Transition Experiment (ASTEX) Rawinsonde Level 2 Data

The First ISCCP Regional Experiments have been designed to improve data products and cloud/radiation parameterizations used in general circulation models (GCMs). Specifically, the goals of FIRE are (1) to improve the basic understanding of the interaction of physical processes in determining life cycles of cirrus and marine stratocumulus systems and the radiative properties of these clouds during their life cycles and (2) to investigate the interrelationships between the ISCCP data, GCM parameterizations, and higher space and time resolution cloud data. To-date, four intensive field-observation periods were planned and executed: a cirrus IFO (October 13 - November 2, 1986); a marine stratocumulus IFO off the southwestern coast of California (June 29 - July 20, 1987); a second cirrus IFO in southeastern Kansas (November 13 - December 7, 1991); and a second marine stratocumulus IFO in the eastern North Atlantic Ocean (June 1 - June 28, 1992). Each mission combined coordinated satellite, airborne, and surface observations with modeling studies to investigate the cloud properties and physical processes of the cloud systems.During the period from June 1 to June 29, 1992, 203 soundings were obtained. At present two forms of data exist - Level I and Level II. Level I are the raw data produced in real time by the software of the Atmospheric Instrumentation Research (AIR) radiosonde system. These data are at irregular pressure and height levels. Level II data consist of processed thermodynamic and wind data at a uniform resolution of 10m, which essentially retains the highest possiblevertical resolution in the original data. The Level II thermodynamic data seem to be reasonably free of errors; however, as mentioned in Schubert et. al., (1992) the wind data requires additional filtering before use.

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