1.     Introduction


2.     NAME Scientific Objectives


3.     NAME Science Team


3.1  Functions and Responsibilities

3.2  Scientific Coordination

3.3  Coordination during Field Operations


4.     Field Operations Center

4.1  Functional Organization and Staff

4.2  Operations Center Venues and Facilities

4.3  Logistics


5.     Daily Planning Process:  Daily Operations

5.1  Forecast Operations: Tucson, Az; Mexico City, Mexico

5.2  The Daily Operations Meeting

5.3   Daily Operations Summary


6.      Ship Operations

6.1  SEMAR:  Altair

6.2  CICESE: Francisco de Ulloa


7.     Aircraft Operations

7.1  WP-3D


8.0 NAME Data Management



Land Sites

SPOL Radar

SMN Radars


Upper Air soundings

1.     Introduction


The North American Monsoon Experiment (NAME) attempts, during a rigorous four-month field phase, to provide a better understanding of and offer an improved simulation of:


-warm season convective processes in complex terrain;

-intraseasonal variability of the monsoon;

-response of warm season circulation and precipitation;

 to slowly varying boundary conditions;

-monsoon evolution and variability.


NAME is indeed an internationally collaborative effort resulting in the identification of a  coordinated process study that has as its goal to improve warm season precipitation forecasts over North America.  As such, NAME has been endorsed by:


-WCRP / CLIVAR Variability of the American Monsoons;

-U.S. CLIVAR Scientific Steering Committee; and

-GEWEX Americas Prediction Project (GAPP).


The field phase of the experiment, which will take place during June, July, August and September, 2004 will encompass a rather broad geographic region of nortwestern Mexico and southwestern United States.  During this four-month period where enhanced meteorological and oceanographic measurements will be made, there does exist the potential to identify nearly two dozen intensive observations periods (IOPs) of (say) 24-72 hour duration. These IOPs require certain pre-selected observation sites to increase their data collection activities.


2.0   NAME Scientific Objectives


The North American Monsoon experiment (NAME), defined as a multi-year research program, will study the sources and limits of predictability of warm season precipitation over the North American continent which has been divided into three distinct geographic tiers, see Figure 1.

name tiers


In order to accomplish the stated tasks, the NAME Science Working Group has defined the following scientific objectives:


(Tier 1);


      variability of the monsoon (Tier 2);


Varying boundary conditions (Tier 3); and


and its variability.



To accomplish the stated scientific objectives, NAME has enhanced the observational capabilities of a rather large number of Mexican and U.S. upper air profiling sites and meteorological radars;  has put in the field additional radars and profilers and is making use of the NOAA WP-3D research aircraft and two Mexican oceanographic ships.  Figure 2 depicts the NAME enhanced observational network.

3.0     NAME SWG:  Science Team


3.1 Functions and responsibilities


The NAME Science Working Group has the responsibility of ensuring that the NAME scientific objectives are met during the field phase of the experiment. The Science Team, led by the designated NAME Science Director, will be comprised of those SWG members and funded principal investigators participating in the field phase and/or their designated representatives.  Those present in Tucson are expected to attend the daily operations meetings and actively participate in the discussions and operational deliberations.


The specific duties and responsibilities of the Science Director are:









3.2   Scientific Coordination


The NAME SWG/Science Team will be responsible for the overall guidance of the research activities of the experiment.  The Team will identify and prioritize the specific missions during the field phase.  The decisions of the Team will be binding to all participating investigators, the Operations Director and his staff.


Schedule of Science Director Rotation


3.3   Coordination during Field Operations


Coordination for all operational field-phase aspects of NAME will be the responsibility of the NAME Operations Director and Deputy Director. The NAME Operations Director and Deputy Director will operate under the guidance of the NAME SWG and the NAME Science Director on duty in Tucson. 



4.0  NAME Field Operations Center


The NAME Operations Center will be established in Room 488, Atmospheric Science Department, University of Arizona, Tucson.  The NAME Operations Deputy Director will be located in Mazatlan, Mexico during the field phase of the experiment to coordinate and facilitate the activities of the aircraft and ship operations and monitor the activities of the land sites scattered throughout northwestern Mexico, including Baja California. The relevant function of the Operations Center is to define and implement the daily operations required by the experiment in accordance with the guidelines set forth by the NAME Science Working Group.


To accomplish the required tasks, the Operations Center in Tucson will conduct a daily meeting to review the current and extended weather forecasts, monitor all elements of the experiment, facilitate the coordination of the activities of the participants, determine appropriate utilization of the observing systems, support all experiment related data collection and communications, and maintain a near-real time data archive via the field catalog.  Figures 3 and 4 depict the time-line activities relevant to operations.

4.1  Functional Organization and Staff


The NAME Operations Director heads the NAME Operations Center and is responsible for the implementation of the operational activities as defined by the SWG.  The functional organization is depicted in Figure 3.  The functional responsibilities of the NAME Operations Director, and as appropriate the Deputy Director, are to:


*convene and chair the daily operations planning meeting;

*implement the directives of the on duty NAME Science Director;

*coordinate all communications necessary for the accomplishment of the NAME objectives;

*issue the daily operations report;

*maintain the status of the expendable resources




The Operations Deputy Director, in addition, will have the following responsibilities:


*maintain the status of all research systems, platforms (aircraft, ship), and land sites;

*monitor the usage of the operational sounding resources and provide daily status reports;

*provide liaison between the field catalog and the NAME science community.



  1. Daily Planning Process:  Daily Operations


The daily operations meeting (Tucson) will begin promptly at 1400 LT (2100 UTC) with an operational decision reached by 1600 LT (23 UTC).  The Operations Director will chair the daily meeting.


Within the Extended Observations Period, (EOP), the NAME Science Implementation   Plan dictates that approximately two dozen intensive observation periods (IOPs) be called to enhance the density of data required to satisfy the science objectives. Each IOP is expected to last 24 to 48 hours, although a duration of 48 to 72 hours may not be that uncommon if weather conditions persist.  The IOPs, when called for implementation, require a heightened level of coordination among the participating sites, including ship and aircraft operations.

5.1   Forecast Operations:  Tucson, AZ; Mexico City, Mexico


The NAME Forecast Operations Centers (NFOCs) have the responsibility for the preparation of the forecast, 24-48 hours, and the presentation of said forecast during the daily operations meeting.  One center is located at the NWS site on the campus of the University of Arizona, the other forecast center is located at the Servicio Meteorologico Nacional (SMN) in Mexico City.  Both centers will coordinate their daily schedules so that one unified forecast will be presented during the daily operations meeting.  The forecast will be presented by the lead forecaster on duty or his/her designee and should last not more than half hour.  The presentation should cover a review of the weather the previous 24-hr. period; near (0-36 hr.) and long term (36-72 hr) forecasts with specific emphasis on the NAME domain, especially for Tiers I and II, and extending to Tier III if especially relevant.  Forecast updates will be issued only upon request by the on duty NAME  Science Director and/or the NAME Operations Director.



5.2  Daily Operations Planning Meeting


On a daily basis, including weekends and holidays, the NAME Operations Center will conduct a meeting to assess meteorological conditions and decide on operations for the next 24 to 48 hours, and beyond if deemed prudent.   The meeting is open to all NAME participants present in Tucson.

The agenda for the meeting will include:


1].  Status reports: 

      Site and platform reports (S-Pol, Profilers, soundings, aircraft,  ship);

2].  Prior 24-hour operations summary; Science Director report; Operations Director         


3].  Expendables inventories;

4].  Forecast presentation:  Near and Long-term forecasts;

5].  Forecast discussion and analysis;

6].  Proposed Operations:  Science objectives;

7].  Operational decision (IOP, Soundings,  Radar, Ship, Aircraft, Forecast updates(s));

8].  Task assignments; Communications


Immediately upon completion of the meeting, the Operations Director will prepare, on a daily basis, the NAME Operations Report and will submit same on the NAME Field Catalog. He will communicate with the Operations Deputy Director in Mazatlan regarding Aircraft, Ship and Site operations. 


7 Aircraft Operations

      The NAME project has 80 total hours of NOAA P-3  flight time (research plus ferry).  The allocation of research hours by objective were outlined at the Tucson Operational meeting.  The NOAA aircraft will be available for operations  from July 5 to August 5, 2004.  The base of operations is General Rafael Buelna International Airport, located south of Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico-  approximately 45 minutes drive time from the hotel.

    Proposed flight tracks and objectives.

7.1 Aircraft Operational Guidelines

    NAME will observe basic aircraft operating rules established over many meteorological field campaigns, including:

    The NOAA Aircraft Operations Center has well established procedures concerning operations of their facilities to ensure safety. The following operational constraints will be followed during NAME.

8.0 NAME Data Management

The NAME SWG has made a strong commitment to provide timely and efficient access to all datasets generated during the field phase of the experiment. The NCAR Earth Observing Laboratory [NCAR/EOL] has been assigned the responsibility to coordinate the NAME data management activities. NAME investigators, and others, are encouraged to become familiar with the contents of the NAME Data Management Plan.

8.1 NAME Field Data Catalog

The field catalog is intended for use by the NAME investigators for planning purposes and operations review activities only. It will have simple plot capabilities for review of the operational and preliminary research datasets residing on the system. It can be accessed at