The Global Energy and Water Cycle Experiment (GEWEX) started the GEWEX Continental-Scale International Project (GCIP) in 1995. The goals of GCIP were to understand the hydrology and water balance of the Mississippi River Basin. Results from GCIP have already been published in two previous special issues of the Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres, in 1996 and 1999. GCIP held its grand finale conference in New Orleans, Louisiana, in May 2002. Participants at that conference along with the scientists funded through the GCIP program were invited to contribute papers to the final GCIP special section in JGR-Atmospheres. This special section, GCIP-3, presents the current state-of-the-art in our understanding of (1) water and energy budget studies, (2) warm season precipitation, (3) predictability and prediction systems, (4) land surface hydrology models, (5) coupled land-atmosphere models, (6) soil moisture, and (7) climate and water resources applications. The research areas cover observations, modeling, process studies, and water resources applications.
 GCIP has now transitioned into the GEWEX America Prediction Project (GAPP). The mission of GAPP is to demonstrate skill in predicting changes in water resources on timescales up to seasonal and annual, as an integral part of the climate system.
 The program manager for both GCIP and GAPP is Richard Lawford, of the Office of Global Programs, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The quality and quantity of science in the three JGR-Atmospheres special sections are due to his leadership and tireless efforts and those of his colleagues, including John Leese, Paul Houser, Eric Wood, Dennis Lettenmaier, Jin Huang, and Jared Entin. Jin Huang is the coordinator of the GCIP-3 special section.
 The GCIP-3 special section will be printed in two parts. Part 1 is printed in this issue. Part 2 will be printed on 27 November 2003 in issue D22.