I was lucky to be part of a field project called DYNAMO, whose main goal was to study the initiation of the MJO. Data was collected in the Indian Ocean at four main sites, which included two islands and two ships. The project took place in late 2011 through early 2012. I worked for the sounding operations on Diego Garcia, part of British Indian Ocean Territory, at 7ºS 72ºE.

I had an unforgettable time on Diego Garcia. We were fortunate to capture a strong MJO event during the period where we were launching eight sondes per day. Going to the island and seeing the wildlife was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I also got to take a ride on the NOAA P3 and help with the drop sondes. In addition to getting an amazing photo opportunity, the pilots were nice enough to let me and my friend Stephanie actually take the controls and fly the plane!

dynamo_3 dynamo_4

Looking down on DG Inside the plane

I also posted some time-lapse videos of clouds from the Diego Garcia sounding site as well as some other videos from the trip here on YouTube.

As soon as this data is processed quality-controlled I plan to use the forcing dataset to test some of my ideas for improving cumulus parameterization. If you’re curious about what working on a tropical island is like, or want to know more about what went on during DYNAMO, check out the earlier postings on my blog,

A Grain of Walt

Here are two other great blogs about DYNAMO that are worth reading as well.

Sans Continent
The Madden Julian Conversation