Deep Convective Microphysics Experiment (DCMEX) coordinated aircraft and ground observations: microphysics, aerosol, and dynamics during cumulonimbus development

Declan L. Finney, Alan M. Blyth, Martin Gallagher, Huihui Wu, Graeme J. Nott, Michael I. Biggerstaff, Richard G. Sonnenfeld, Martin Daily, Dan Walker, David Dufton, Keith Bower, Steven Böing, Thomas Choularton, Jonathan Crosier, James Groves, Paul R. Field, Hugh Coe, Benjamin J. Murray, Gary Lloyd, Nicholas A. MarsdenMichael Flynn, Kezhen Hu, Navaneeth M. Thamban, Paul I. Williams, Paul J. Connolly, James B. McQuaid, Joseph Robinson, Zhiqiang Cui, Ralph R. Burton, Gordon Carrie, Robert Moore, Steven J. Abel, Dave Tiddeman, Graydon Aulich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cloud feedbacks associated with deep convective anvils remain highly uncertain. In part, this uncertainty arises from a lack of understanding of how microphysical processes influence the cloud radiative effect. In particular, climate models have a poor representation of microphysics processes, thereby encouraging the collection and study of observation data to enable better representation of these processes in models. As such, the Deep Convective Microphysics Experiment (DCMEX) undertook an in situ aircraft and ground-based measurement campaign of New Mexico deep convective clouds during July-August 2022. The campaign coordinated a broad range of instrumentation measuring aerosol, cloud physics, radar, thermodynamics, dynamics, electric fields, and weather. This paper introduces the potential data user to DCMEX observational campaign characteristics, relevant instrument details, and references to more detailed instrument descriptions. Also included is information on the structure and important files in the dataset in order to aid the accessibility of the dataset to new users. Our overview of the campaign cases illustrates the complementary operational observations available and demonstrates the breadth of the campaign cases observed. During the campaign, a wide selection of environmental conditions occurred, ranging from dry, northerly air masses with low wind shear to moist, southerly air masses with high wind shear. This provided a wide range of different convective growth situations. Of 19 flight days, only 2 d lacked the formation of convective cloud. The dataset presented (10.5285/B1211AD185E24B488D41DD98F957506C; ) will help establish a new understanding of processes on the smallest cloud- and aerosol-particle scales and, once combined with operational satellite observations and modelling, can support efforts to reduce the uncertainty of anvil cloud radiative impacts on climate scales.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2141-2163
Number of pages23
JournalEarth System Science Data
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 3 May 2024


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