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Seminar | Environmental Science Division

TRacking Aerosol Convection Interactions ExpeRiment (TRACER): An Upcoming ARM Field Campaign

EVS Seminar

Abstract: Despite their climatic importance, multiscale models continue to have persistent biases produced by insufficient representation of convective clouds. To increase our understanding of convective cloud lifecycles and aerosol-convection interactions, the TRacking Aerosol Convection interactions ExpeRiment (TRACER) will take place in the Houson, TX, region from April 2021 through April 2022 with an intensive observation period from June to September 2022.

TRACER (currently) includes the deployment of the ARM Mobile Facility, a C-band scanning Polarimetric radar, and additional aerosol and atmospheric state measurements within existing surface meteorology, air quality and lightning detection networks. A unique component of TRACER is that a large number of individual, isolated convective cells will be tracked and measured in high spatial and temporal resolution for the purposes of:

  • Characterizing and linking convective cloud kinematic and microphysical lifecycles,
  • Quantifying environmental thermodynamic and kinematic controls on convective lifecycle properties, and
  • Isolating and quantifying the impacts of aerosol properties on convective cloud kinematic and microphysical evolution.

The seminar will present the scientific motivation for the TRACER campaign, details on the deployment strategies, and evolving opportunities for participation. The unique combination of cloud, precipitation, lightning, aerosol, and atmospheric state measurements associated with tracked convective cells will ultimately improve our understanding of the convective cloud lifecycle and its interaction with individual environmental factors such that improved, next-generation cumulus, microphysics, turbulence, and aerosol parameterizations can be designed.