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PECAN: Plains Elevated Convection at Night


The PECAN campaign is envisioned as a multi-agency, international project (NSF, NOAA, NASA, DOE; Canada, Germany, UK) designed to advance the understanding of continental nocturnal warm-season precipitation. PECAN will focus on nocturnal convection in conditions with a low-level jet and a stable boundary layer with the largest Convectively Available Potential Energy located aloft. The findings should be applicable to other continental regions with nocturnal thunderstorm maxima. PECAN has four research foci: i) Nocturnal convection initiation and early evolution of mesoscale convective clusters; ii) Bore and other wave-like disturbances; iii) Dynamics and microphysics of nocturnal mesoscale convective systems (MCSs); iv) Prediction of nocturnal convection initiation and evolution. To investigate these foci, the PECAN campaign calls for three aircraft with the NSF-University of Wyoming King Air and the NASA DC-8 probing the pre-convective environment, and the NOAA P-3 observing the dynamical and microphysical characteristics of MCSs. The project design includes a network of seven mobile Doppler radars (3 Center for Severe Weather Research X-band DOWs, 2  University of Oklahoma C-band SMART-Rs, the NSSL X-band NOXP, and the Univ. of Alabama in Huntsville X-band MAX) that will provide multi-Doppler wind syntheses and  microphysical data of evolving MCSs, and a fixed S-band radar, the NCAR S-Pol radar. A unique aspect of the experimental design is the integration of a wide variety of profiling systems into a fixed and mobile PECAN Integrated Sounding Array (PISA) including Differential Absorption Lidars, Doppler lidars, and Raman lidars, multi-channel microwave radiometers, infrared spectrometers, and acoustic systems, as well as radiosondes and surface meteorological stations.

Data access

Datasets from this project

Additional information

Field catalog
Related links

Temporal coverage

Begin Date 2015-04-01 00:00:00
End Date 2015-07-16 23:59:59

Spatial coverage

Map data from IBCSO, IBCAO, and Global Topography.

Maximum (North) Latitude: 43.00, Minimum (South) Latitude: 32.00
Minimum (West) Longitude: -105.00, Maximum (East) Longitude: -90.00