OTREC: Organization of Tropical East Pacific Convection

The purpose of OTREC is to understand atmospheric convection in the tropical east Pacific. This region is characterized by a strong sea surface temperature gradient with the coldest temperatures on the equator. The resulting cross-equatorial atmospheric flow affects convection in ways that are not completely understood. In particular, the vertical mass flux profiles of convection in this region are in dispute. The region also in one in which east Pacific easterly waves, which often intensify into tropical cyclones, either form or regenerate by processes which are not clear.
The project is supported by the US National Science Foundation and the field phase will take place in August-September 2019. The NCAR/NSF Gulfstream V aircraft will be used to deploy dropsondes in the study areas. Cloud characteristics will be measured by NCAR's downward-pointing W-band radar.
In addition to the aircraft operation, soundings, GPS column water vapor measurements, and oxygen isotope measurements in rainfall will be made in Costa Rica and Colombia. Investigators from the University of Washington, Colorado State University, University of Wisconsin, Harvard University, Columbia University, University of Costa Rica, National Autonomous University of Mexico, National University of Colombia in Medellin and Bogota, and New Mexico Tech will be involved.
For more information, see the Scientific Program Overview and the Experimental Design Overview for the project.