The primary goal of the FASTEX field program was to advance the
scientific understanding necessary to enable detailed diagnosis and
prediction of the life cycles and effects of eastern oceanic storms
and their associated cloud and precipitation systems. FASTEX took
place during January and February 1997 ... over the North Atlantic Ocean.
The sceintific objectives of FASTEX included: (1) Increase the
scientific understanding of the intensification process of eastern
Atlantic extra-tropical cyclones and the role performed by
precipitating clouds; (2) Provide a test for various "adaptive"
observational strategies designed to place dropsonde observations in
places crucial to improved numerical forecasts of cyclone development;
(3) Provide a quantitative description of the mesoscale organization,
of precipitation at various stages of the life-cycle of the
extratropical cyclone, and tropopause folds and dry intrusions; (4)
Construct 3-D kinematic fields over the cyclone domain suitable for
input into mesoscale data assimilation models; and (5) Gather datasets
from which heat and moisture budgets and the vertical distribution of
heating by cloud systems can be calculated.