The Tropical Ocean Global Atmosphere Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere Response Experiment




Isolated convection over the west Pacific warm pool as viewed from the R.V. Vickers (photo by Walt Petersen)

Overview of the Experiment:

TOGA COARE was a combined oceanic-atmospheric field program aimed at improving our understanding of air-sea coupling processes in the west Pacific wam pool region. The intensive observation period (IOP) of the experiment was carried out from November 1992 to February 1993 over a broad region of the west Pacific bordered by 10°N, 10°S, 140°E, and the date line. The focus of the observational effort was an intensive flux array (IFA) centered at 2°S and 156°E (see map below). The ultimate objective of the COARE dataset is to improve air-sea interaction and boundary-layer parameterizations in models of the ocean and the atmosphere, and to validate coupled models (see Webster and Lukas, 1992 and Godfrey et al. 1998 for a detailed description of the COARE program and an overview of scientific results).

The focus of the CSU Radar Meteorology group activities in COARE was to study convective processes in the warm pool region using the MIT and TOGA radars on-board the the NOAA R/V Vickers and Chinese vessel Xiangyanghong#5, respectively. COARE participants from the CSU Radar Meteorology Group on-board the R/V Vickers included: C. DeMott (IOP1), T. Rickenbach (IOP2), R. Cifelli (IOP3), and W. Petersen (IOP3). CSU participation and research analyses for COARE was supported by NOAA Office of Global Programs.


Site Map (courtesy of NASA TRMM Office):


Research Examples from COARE:


Photo Gallery


CSU Radar Meteorology Group Published Research on COARE:

Cifelli, R., W.A. Petersen, T. Matejka, T.M. Rickenbach, S.A. Rutledge, J. Halverson, and B.S. Ferrier, 2001: Radar analysis of a tropical oceanic squall line: Momentum budgets and sensitivity of vertical structure to thermodynamic characteristics in the environment. Submitted, Quart. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc. (click here for a PDF version of the text or here for a PDF version of the figures).

DeMott, C. A., and S. A. Rutledge, 1998a: The vertical structure of TOGA COARE convection. Part I: Radar echo distributions. J. Atmos. Sci., 55, 2730-2747.

DeMott, C. A., and S. A. Rutledge, 1998b: The vertical structure of TOGA COARE convection. Part I: Modulating influences and implications for diabatic heating. J. Atmos. Sci., 55, 2748-2762.

Petersen, W. A., S. A. Rutledge and R. E. Orville, 1996: Cloud-to-ground lightning observations in TOGA COARE: Lightning location algorithms and selected results. Mon. Wea. Rev., 124, 602-620.

Petersen, W. A., R. C. Cifelli, S. A. Rutledge, B. S. Ferrier, and B. F. Smull, 1999: Integrated observations of storm kinematics and electrification. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 80, 81-90.

Petersen, W.A., and S.A. Rutledge, 1998: On the relationship between cloud-to-ground lightning and convective rainfall. J. Geophys. Res., 103, 14025-14040.

Rickenbach, T. M., and S. A. Rutledge, 1998: Convection in TOGA COARE: Horizontal scale, morphology and rainfall production. J. Atmos. Sci., 55, 2715-2729.

Saxen, T., and S. A. Rutledge, 1998: Surface fluxes and boundary layer organization in TOGA COARE: Sensitivity to convective organization. J. Atmos. Sci., 55, 2763-2781.

Saxen, T., and S. A. Rutledge, 2000: Surface rainfall-cold cloud fractional coverage relationship in TOGA COARE:A function of vertical wind shear. Mon. Wea. Rev., 128, 407-415.

Short, D. A., P. A. Kucera, B. S. Ferrier, J. C. Gerlach, S. A. Rutledge, and O. W. Thiele, 1997: Shipboard radar rainfall patterns within the TOGA COARE IFA. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 78, 2817-2836.

Web Sites of Interest on TOGA COARE: