Ontario Winter Lake-effect Systems (OWLeS)
This special collection brings together research related to the Ontario Winter Lake-effect Systems (OWLeS) field project, which took place in December 2013 and January 2014. OWLeS focused primarily on lake-effect snow systems over and near Lake Ontario, including several that produced snowfalls of 1-2 m in the Tug Hill Plateau in northern New York State. OWLeS sought to document the characteristics and processes involved in the development of lake-effect snow systems, especially the evolution of the planetary boundary layer under spatially varying surface forcing, lake-effect cloud, snow and lightning development, connections between meso- and micro-scale convective structures, and interactions between lake-effect systems and downwind topographic features. Observation platforms deployed during the two-month field project included three Doppler-on-Wheels radars operated by the Center for Severe Weather Research; The University of Wyoming King Air with the Wyoming Cloud Radar and Wyoming Cloud Lidar; University of Alabama at Huntsville’s Mobile Integrated Profile System (MIPS); Millersville University’s Profiling System (MUPS); five university-owned mobile radiosonde systems provided by University of Illinois, Millersville University, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, University of Utah and the State University of New York Oswego; four micro rain radars; and a wide range of surface precipitation observations. The data collected during the OWLeS field project, available at http://data.eol.ucar.edu/master_list/?project=OWLeS, will provide research opportunities and scientific insights for years to come.
David Kristovich, ISWS, Prairie Research Institute, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign