The TRacking Aerosol Convection interactions ExpeRiment (TRACER) took place in the Houston, TX region beginning October 2021 through September 2022 with an intensive operational period during June – September 2022. The main goal of the TRACER campaign is to provide new measurements for the study of interactions between aerosols and deep convective clouds and quantify any effects on precipitation formation pathways and convective vigor.
The Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Mobile Facility, deployed in the often heavily polluted location of La Porte, TX provides a comprehensive suite of surface-based in situ and remote sensing measurements of cloud, aerosol, precipitation, meteorology and radiation. Unique measurements using automated convective cell tracking by a research grade C-band polarimetric radar capture high-resolution observations of the evolution of precipitation microphysics in the convective core over the cloud lifecycle. These measurements are complemented by frequently launched radiosondes at multiple locations and additional fixed and mobile measurement sites around the Houston region. In addition to these measurements, interagency collaborative campaigns complement the TRACER observations with aircraft in situ measurements, mobile remote sensing trucks and radar systems, frequent radiosonde profiling and a lightning mapping array.
Following the data collection phase of this research, the next step is to identify deep convective cloud cases and characterize the data quality, cloud and precipitation properties, and environmental thermodynamic, kinematic and aerosol properties. This exercise provides the basis for identifying best cases for detailed cases study analysis and planned model intercomparison studies. Here we present a summary of the measurements collected for deep convective cloud cases observed during the four month TRACER intensive operational period.