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  • This dataset collection brings together the datasets produced from the MICROphysicS of COnvective PrEcipitation (MICROSCOPE) project, the NERC funded part of the wider COPE (COnvective Precipitation Experiment) project. COPE was led by the National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS) and the UK Met Office, and involved scientists at the Universities of Leeds, Manchester and Reading, as well as international partners from the Universities of Purdue and Wyoming. As part of COPE, MICROSCOPE sought to improve predictions of severe convective rainfall by addressing the problem of the microphysics of precipitation in convective clouds. Data were collected during the project over Cornwall and Devon, UK, during July and August 2013 to study the clouds. Three research aircraft (Facility for Airborne Atmospheric Measurements (FAAM) BAe146, Met Office Civil Contingency Aircraft (MOCCA) and University of Wyoming King Air), a ground-based radar and several other ground-based instruments took measurements of exactly how the rain forms and develops. The aircraft were equipped with instruments that can distinguish between liquid and solid particles at 200 mph, for example. A major objective was to find these needles in the haystack – the first few ice crystals that form in amongst the hundreds of cloud droplets per every cubic centimetre of cloud.

  • Forecasting Rainfall exploiting new data Assimilation techniques and Novel observations of Convection (FRANC): Ensemble member output from Unified Model runs as described in Flack et al. (2018): Convective-Scale Perturbation Growth Across the Spectrum of Convective Regimes, Monthly Weather Review, 146, 387-405 The dataset contains ensemble run output from 36 hour long runs under different model set ups (see details below) for 6 case studies (see Flack et al. 2018 for greater detail). The case studies (and model output available in the dataset) chosen related to a spectrum of 'convective adjustment time scales', defined as the ratio between the convective available potential energy (CAPE) and its rate of release at the convective scale. 'control' run files contain large scale rainfall rates and amounts whilst the 'control_multilevel' files contain various parameters on various levels, including mean sea level pressure, zonal, meridional and vertical wind components, specific humidity and temperature. - Case A: 20th April 2012, part of the Dynamical and Microphysical Evolution of Convective Storms (DYMECS) field experiment (Stein et al. 2015), showing typical conditions for scattered showers in the United Kingdom. - Case B: 12 August 2013, for a case where a surface low was situated over Scandinavia and the Azores high was beginning to build, leading to persistent northwesterly flow. - Case C: 23rd July 2013, relating to the fifth intensive observation period (IOP 5) of the Convective Precipitation Experiment (COPE; Leon et al. 2016). A low pressure system was centered to the west of the United Kingdom with several fronts ahead of the main center, which later decayed. - Case D: 2nd August 2013, covering IOP 10 of the COPE field campaign, with convection initiating at 1100 UTC. The synoptic situation shows a low pressure system centered to the west of Scotland, which led to southwesterly winds and a convergence line being set up along the North Cornish coastline (in southwest England). - Case E: 27th July 2013, covers the period of IOP 7 of the COPE field campaign where two mesoscale convective systems (MCS) influenced the U.K.’s weather throughout the forecast period. - Case F: 5th August 2013, was chosen for the complex situation for considering convective-scale perturbation grown and a second case driven by the boundary conditions as seen during IOP 12 of the COPE campaign A brief description of the model run IDs and model setup is given below. The model used to create these ensembles is the Met Office Unified Model (MetUM). The United Kingdom Variable resolution (UKV) configuration is used, and so the data has a grid spacing of approximately 1.5 km. This was run at version 8.2 and run with the MetUM Graphical User Interface (GUI). run ID: xkyib This is the control experiment and everything is kept identical to the operational running of this configuration of the MetUM. run ID: xldef Here the Gaussian potential temperature perturbations are added into the model. Full details of the perturbation method are described in Flack et al. (2018) Convective-Scale Perturbation Growth Across the Spectrum of Convective Regimes, Monthly Weather Review, 146, 387-405, however a brief overview is given below: A Gaussian distribution (defined using random numbers between +/- 1 at each grid point, with the seed determined by the time the model is ran) is created at every grid point in the domain. A superposition is created and rescaled to 0.1 K so as to be an appropriate amplitude for boundary layer noise. Each of the Gaussian distributions have a standard deviation of 9km so as to be added onto an appropriate scale for the model. The perturbations are added in at a model hybrid height of 261.6 m (approximately the 8th model level).

  • The Forecasting Rainfall exploiting new data Assimilation techniques and Novel observations of Convection (FRANC) project undertook a series of studies to design and test efficient and effective ways of assimilating moisture information from observations that respect the intricate dynamical and physical relationships that operate in the atmosphere. The aim of this work was, if successful, that such new approaches would allow better use of cloud and rain affected observations than previously. Predicting convective rain is made harder by the fact that some events are inherently unpredictable, even with good data assimilation and models, due to their high sensitivity to even small errors in the initial conditions. Studies were also made to look at the dynamical reasons for the low predictability of such events using diagnostics derived from models and observations. To these ends this collection contains data from two of the studies within this project plus helical scan data from the Met Office's Wardon Hill radar utilised by the project team. The two datasets from the project team cover ensemble member output from runs of the Met Office's Unified Model conducted to support the project and Doppler radar radial wind observations and associated observation-minus-model residuals from the Met Office UKV 3D Var assimilation scheme. Please see the individual datasets for additional information. For further details of the FRANC project please also see Dance et al. (2019) article in the online resources linked to from this record: Improvements in Forecasting Intense Rainfall: Results from the FRANC (Forecasting Rainfall Exploiting New Data Assimilation Techniques and Novel Observations of Convection) Project.

  • This dataset contains scan data from the National Centre for Atmospheric Science's (NCAS) mobile X-band radar collected at Praia International Airport, Santiago, Cape Verde between July and August 2015 as part of the Ice in Clouds Experiment - Dust (ICE-D). The radar has Doppler and dual-polarisation capability and measures the location and intensity of precipitation, radial winds and polarisation parameters. The X-band radar is operated as part of the NCAS Atmospheric Measurement Facility (AMF).

  • This dataset contains scan data from the National Centre for Atmospheric Science's (NCAS) mobile X-band radar collected at the Davidstow Airfield, Cornwall, between June and August 2013 as part of the MICROphysicS of COnvective PrEcipitation (MICROSCOPE) project. This version 2 dataset contains improved metadata and uses a revised processing method to improve data accuracy. Users should also note the change in filenaming convention for this instrument whereby the volume number given after the date-time part is no longer provided. The X-band radar is operated as part of the NCAS Atmospheric Measurement Facility's (AMF).

  • This dataset contains scan data from the National Centre for Atmospheric Science's (NCAS) mobile X-band radar collected at the Davidstow Airfield, Cornwall, between June and August 2013 as part of the MICROphysicS of COnvective PrEcipitation (MICROSCOPE) project. The X-band radar is operated as part of the NCAS Atmospheric Measurement Facility's (AMF).

  • The Convective and Orographically-induced Precipitation Study (COPS) was an international field campaign initiated by the German Research Foundation (DFG). This dataset collection contains vertical wind profiler measurements. The UK component of the campaign involved flights by the FAAM aircraft and the deployment of a number of the UK Universities' Facility for Atmospheric Measurement (UFAM) mobile instruments in summer 2007. These included a Doppler Lidar, a radiometer, a wind profiler, two sodars, an aerosol monitoring suite, a network of automatic weather stations and two radiosonde stations. The objective was to identify the physical and chemical processes responsible for the deficiencies in quantitative precipitation forecasting (QPF) over low-mountain regions with the goal of improving their model representation, and thus improve forecasts. For the field experiment, a region in southwestern Germany/eastern France was selected where severe thunderstorm activity is frequent in summer with significant amounts of precipitation and risk of flash flood events, while the skill of numerical weather forecasts in the region is particularly low. This dataset includes measurements of wind speeds and wind directions and aerosol concentrations.