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WISP04: Winter Icing and Storms Project, 2004


The 2004 Winter Icing and Storms Project, or WISP-04, sought to understand how hazardous in-flight icing conditions form within clouds, and how we can remotely detect those conditions. In-flight icing occurs when an aircraft flies through super-cooled liquid cloud drops. WISP-04 ran from February 15th through March 31st, 2004.

The NOAA Environmental Technology Laboratory (ETL) deployed its Ground-based Remote Icing Detection System (GRIDS) at a field site near Erie, Colorado, which is approximately 35 km northwest of Denver. GRIDS combines a very sensitive, polarimetric Doppler cloud radar with a microwave radiometer and temperature profile information from the NOAA Rapid Update Cycle analysis, to find liquid within clouds and determine if it is super-cooled liquid.

NOAA-ETL collaborated with the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and the University of North Dakota. NCAR employed a dual-frequency radar system, balloons and computerized icing forecast tools, whereas UND flew their Citation aircraft to provide in-situ confirmation of cloud conditions.

WISP-04 followed closely on the heals of the second Alliance Icing Research Study (AIRS-II), which was held from November 3 through December 12th, 2003 in Montreal Canada. Though larger in scope than WISP-04, AIRS-II shared similar objectives.

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Datasets from this project

Additional information

GCMD Name V - Z > WISP > Winter Icing and Storms Project > a0d64b73-fb48-4d27-b1a5-601fe18af09e
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Temporal coverage

Begin Date 2004-02-17 00:00:00
End Date 2004-04-04 23:59:59

Spatial coverage

Map data from IBCSO, IBCAO, and Global Topography.

Maximum (North) Latitude: 40.00, Minimum (South) Latitude: 40.00
Minimum (West) Longitude: -105.00, Maximum (East) Longitude: -105.00