and Meso-Scale Convective Vortices Experiment
Fresh out of a major maintenance
overhaul and fully instrumented by AOC engineers
and technicians for severe storm research, a NOAA
P-3 called Kermit deployed from its home at MacDill
Air Force Base to Mid America airport in western
Illinois, just east of St. Louis, Missouri, on
May 19th to participate in the Bow Echo and Meso-Scale
Convective Vortices Experiment, known by the acronym
BAMEX. Operating with another Doppler radar equipped
aircraft, provided by the Naval Research Lab (NRL),
and a high-altitude dropsonde Lear jet provided
by Weather Modification Inc. of Fargo, North Dakota,
NOAA 42, Kermit's call sign, is slated to provide
approximately 150 hours of flight time to this
severe weather project.
In scientific jargon, the objectives
of BAMEX are to:
1. Improve predictability of
bow echo disturbances, especially those producing
severe weather (damaging winds/non-supercell tornadoes).
2. Improve predictability of secondary
convection generated by meso-scale vortices.
3. Document and understand factors
contributing to the development of horizontal
circulations with long-lived convective systems.
4. Improve 6-24 hour Quantitative
Precipitation Forecasts (QPF).
In simpler terms, the two Doppler
radar equipped P-3s and the dorpsonde aircraft
will map the three-dimensional structure of evolving
squall lines, many of which produce tornados,
and the associated large scale precipitation area
known as a mesoscale convective vortex, or MCV.
Operating mostly between dusk and dawn, when these
severe weather systems reach their peak intensities,
these aircraft will cover an areas of the Midwest
within 425 nautical mile radius of MidAmerica
airport wherever these Bow Echoes and MCVs form.
The project, which will last seven weeks (until
early July), will provide scientists with never
before available data to foster a better understanding
of these storms and to aid them in the development
of better tools for the prediction of their onset