Flying through the clouds
Early in the morning this past Thursday, I got to go on another research flight: the 4th research flight of the C-130. It was a long flight, but I think everyone collected some great data - we found some great clouds to study! During the whole flight, we flew 10 minute legs alternating between above the cloud deck, in the clouds, and below the clouds.
The instruments that I work with measure the amount of particles and the amount of cloud condensation particles in the air above the clouds and below the clouds, which allows us to compare the two areas.
The picture shows a view through the cockpit of the aircraft, right before sunrise. You can see that some of the cloud tops are higher than the others, which can indicate a drizzle cell. This is also part of what we are studying: the relationship between the particles that we measure, and the formation or lack of these drizzle cells.
Postcards from the Field: Climate Science from the Southeast Pacific