Observations of the microphysical evolution of convective clouds in the southwest of the United Kingdom

Robert Jackson, Jeffrey R. French, David C. Leon, David M. Plummer, Sonia Lasher-Trapp, Alan M. Blyth, Alexei Korolev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Convective Precipitation Experiment (COPE) was designed to investigate the origins of heavy convective precipitation over the southwestern UK, a region that experiences flash flooding due to heavy precipitation from slow-moving convective systems. In this study, the microphysical and dynamical characteristics of developing turrets during 4 days in July and August 2013 are analyzed. In situ cloud microphysical measurements from the University of Wyoming King Air and vertically pointing W-band radar measurements from Wyoming Cloud Radar are examined, together with data from the ground-based NXPol radar. The 4 days presented here cover a range of environmental conditions in terms of wind shear and instability, resulting in a similarly wide variability in observed ice crystal concentrations, both across days as well as between clouds on individual days. The highest concentration of ice was observed on the days in which there was an active warm-rain process supplying precipitation-sized liquid drops. The high ice concentrations observed (> 100 L-1) are consistent with the production of secondary ice particles through the Hallett-Mossop process. Turrets that ascended through remnant cloud layers above the 0 °C level had higher ice particle concentrations, suggesting that entrainment of ice particles from older clouds or previous thermals may have acted to aid in the production of secondary ice through the Hallett-Mossop process. Other mechanisms such as the shattering of frozen drops may be more important for producing ice in more isolated clouds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15329-15344
Number of pages16
JournalAtmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Issue number20
StatePublished - Oct 28 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


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