Observations of ambient aerosol and warm cloud formation in a New Mexico summer deep-convection system

Huihui Wu, Nicholas Marsden, Paul Connolly, Michael Flynn, Paul Ivor Williams, Graeme J. Nott, Kezhen Hu, Declan Finney, Navaneeth Thamban, Keith Bower, Alan Blyth, Thomas Choularton, Martin Gallagher, Hugh Coe

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Aerosol particles can affect the formation and properties of clouds by acting as cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) and ice nucleating particles (INP). The accurate representation of aerosol size distribution and composition along with cloud nucleating properties play an important role in describing aerosol-cloud interactions. The Deep Convective Microphysics Experiment (DCMEX) is a project aimed at improving the representation of microphysical processes in deep convective clouds. The DCMEX campaign (July to Aug 2022) was conducted using the UK FAAM (Facility for Airborne Atmospheric Measurements) BAe-146 Atmospheric Research Aircraft and characterized the aerosol-cloud system over the isolated Magdalena Mountain region in New Mexico. The aircraft was equipped with a range of online instruments to measure aerosol chemical composition (i.e., Aerosol Mass Spectrometry, AMS; Laser Ablation Aerosol Particle Time of Flight mass spectrometry, LAAPToF) and aerosol size distributions, as well as cloud microphysics. A 6-days backward dispersion analysis of this region shows that the air source flow transferred from Northwest (NW, California coast) to Southeast (SE, Gulf of Mexico) during the campaign period. This air mass source change coincided with changes in meteorological parameters including such as enhancement of convection available potential energy (CAPE), decreased cloud-base height, and increased boundary layer humidity. The aerosol size distribution and chemical composition in out-of-cloud runs also show variations under different air mass source conditions. Larger sulphate and lower organic contributions were observed in the sub-micron (
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-6816,
Publication statusPublished - 14 Apr 2024
EventEGU General Assembly 2024 - Vienna, Austria
Duration: 14 Apr 202419 Apr 2024


ConferenceEGU General Assembly 2024


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