Current Research


The Olympic Mountains Experiment (OLYMPEX) occurred during water year 2016 on the Olympic Peninsula of the NW corner of Washington State. The purpose was to provide physical validation for precipitation algorithms for the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) consortium of satellites and to examine the effects of terrain on land-falling wintertime midlatitude cyclones. We continue to analyze the data collected from this field campaign. See the following published papers and the website below to learn more.


  • Houze, R. A., Jr., L. McMurdie, W. Peterson, M. Schwaller, W. Baccus, J. Lundquist, C. Mass, B. Nijssen, S. Rutledge, D. Hudak, S. Tanelli, J. Mace, M. Poellot, D. Lettenmaier, J. Zagrodnik, A. Rowe, J. DeHart, L. Maddaus and H. Barnes, 2016: Olympic Mountains Experiment (OLYMPEX). Bull.Amer.Meteor.Soc., doi:10.1175/BAMS-D-16-0182.1.
  • Zagrodnik, J. P., L. McMurdie and R. A. Houze, Jr, 2018: Stratiform Precipitation Processes in Cyclones Passing over a Coastal Mountain RangeJ.Atmos.Sci., doi:10.1175/JAS-D-17-0168.1
  • Barnes, H. C. J. P. Zagrodnik, L. A. McMurdie, A. K. Rowe, R. A. Houze, Jr., 2018: Kelvin-Helmholtz waves in precipitating midlatitude cyclones. J. Atmos. Sci.,75, 2763-2785. DOI: 10.1175/JAS-D-17-0365.1
  • McMurdie, L. A., A. K. Rowe, J. P. Zagrodnik, R. A. Houze, Jr., S. Brodzik, T. Schuldt, 2018: Terrain Impacted Precipitation Processes above the Melting Layer: Results from OLYMPEX,. J. Geophys. Res., 123. DOI:10.1029/2018JD029161    Open access at:
  • Zagrodnik, J. P., L. A. McMurdie, R. A Houze, Jr., S. Tanelli, 2019: Vertical Structure and Microphysical Characteristics of Frontal Systems Passing over a Three-Dimensional Coastal Mountain Range. J. Atmos. Sci..
  • Zagrodnik, J. P., L. A. McMurdie, R. J. Conrick, 2021: Barrier and sub0barrier scale precipitation processes in stratiform precipitation over the Olympic mountains. Mon. Wea. Rev.,149, 503-520. DOI:
  • DeLaFrance, A. L. A. McMurdie, A. K. Rowe, 2021: Orographically Modified Ice-Phase Precipitation Processes during the Olympic Mountains Experiment (OLYMPEX). J. Atmos. Sci., accepted,


The Remote sensing of Electrification, Lightning, and Mesoscale/microscale Processes with Adaptive Ground Observations (RELAMPAGO) took place in the fall of 2018 in the Sierra de Córdoba region of Argentina. The purpose of the experiment is to document the full lifecycle of convection from initiation, upscale growth and severe weather of the convective storms that form off the Sierra de Córdoba and progress eastward to the plains. It is a region that has the largest hail and most frequent lightning in the world. The instrumentation was extensive with mobile and fixed sites that includes multiple radars, meteorological stations, a lightning network, aircraft, ground rain gauges and disdrometers and other instrumentation.



Investigation of Microphysics and Precipitation for Atlantic Coast-Threatening Snowstorms will take place in the winters of 2020 – 2022 to examine snowband structures in developing East Coast storms. Learn more here:

First deployment took place Winter 2020. Field Catalog at:

Second deployment took place winter 2022. Field catalog at:

Third deployment planned for winter 2023.


McMurdie, L. A., and co-authors, 2022: Chasing snowstorms: The Investigation of Microphysics and Precipitation for Atlantic Coast-threatening Snowstorms (IMPACTS) Campaign. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 103, E1243-1269.

Finlon, J. A., L. A. McMurdie, R. J. Chase, 2022: Investigation of microphysical properties within regions of enhanced dual-frequency ratio during the IMPACTS field campaign. J. Atmos. Sci., published online 22 June 2022,