The Deep Convective Clouds and Chemistry (DC3) Field Experiment

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Mary C Barth1, William H Brune2, Christopher A Cantrell3, Steven A Rutledge4, James H Crawford5, Heidi Huntrieser6, Cameron R Homeyer7, Benjamin Nault8, Ronald C Cohen8, Laura Pan9 and Luke D Ziemba5, (1)Natl Ctr Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO, United States, (2)Pennsylvania State University Main Campus, University Park, PA, United States, (3)Univ of Colorado, Boulder, CO, United States, (4)Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, United States, (5)NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA, United States, (6)German Aerospace Center Oberpfaffenhofen, Wessling, Germany, (7)University of Oklahoma Norman Campus, Norman, OK, United States, (8)University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, United States, (9)National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO, United States
The Deep Convective Clouds and Chemistry (DC3) field experiment took place in the central U.S. in May and June 2012 and had the objectives of characterizing the effect of thunderstorms on the chemical composition of the lower atmosphere and determining the chemical aging of upper troposphere (UT) convective outflow plumes. DC3 employed ground-based radars, lightning mapping arrays, and weather balloon soundings in conjunction with aircraft measurements sampling the composition of the inflow and outflow of a variety of thunderstorms in northeast Colorado, West Texas to central Oklahoma, and northern Alabama. A unique aspect of the DC3 strategy was to locate and sample the convective outflow a day after active convection in order to measure the chemical transformations within the UT convective plume. The DC3 data are being analyzed to investigate transport and dynamics of the storms, scavenging of soluble trace gases and aerosols, production of nitrogen oxides by lightning, relationships between lightning flash rates and storm parameters, and chemistry in the UT that is affected by the convection. In this presentation, we give an overview of the DC3 field campaign and highlight results from the campaign that are relevant to the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere region. These highlights include stratosphere-troposphere exchange in connection with thunderstorms, the 0-12 hour chemical aging and new particle formation in the UT outflow of a dissipating mesoscale convective system observed on June 21, 2012, and UT chemical aging in convective outflow as sampled the day after convection occurred and modeled in the Weather Research and Forecasting coupled with Chemistry model.