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The COnvective Precipitation Experiment (COPE): investigating the origins of heavy precipitation in the southwestern UK

Leon, D. C., French, J. R., Lasher-Trapp, S., Blyth, A. M., Abel, S. J., Ballard, S., Barrett, A., Bennett, L. J., Bower, K., Brooks, B., Brown, P., Charlton-Perez, C., Choularton, T., Clark, P., Collier, C., Crosier, J., Cui, Z., Dey, S., Dufton, D., Eagle, C., Flynn, M. J., Gallagher, M., Halliwell, C., Hanley, K., Hawkness-Smith, L., Huang, Y., Kelly, G., Kitchen, M., Korolev, A., Lean, H., Liu, Z., Marsham, J., Moser, D., Nicol, J., Norton, E. G., Plummer, D., Price, J., Ricketts, H., Roberts, N., Rosenberg, P. D., Simonin, D., Taylor, J. W., Warren, R., Williams, P. I. and Young, G. (2016) The COnvective Precipitation Experiment (COPE): investigating the origins of heavy precipitation in the southwestern UK. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 97 (6). pp. 1003-1020. ISSN 1520-0477

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1175/BAMS-D-14-00157.1

Abstract/Summary

A recent field campaign in southwest England used numerical modeling integrated with aircraft and radar observations to investigate the dynamic and microphysical interactions that can result in heavy convective precipitation. The COnvective Precipitation Experiment (COPE) was a joint UK-US field campaign held during the summer of 2013 in the southwest peninsula of England, designed to study convective clouds that produce heavy rain leading to flash floods. The clouds form along convergence lines that develop regularly due to the topography. Major flash floods have occurred in the past, most famously at Boscastle in 2004. It has been suggested that much of the rain was produced by warm rain processes, similar to some flash floods that have occurred in the US. The overarching goal of COPE is to improve quantitative convective precipitation forecasting by understanding the interactions of the cloud microphysics and dynamics and thereby to improve NWP model skill for forecasts of flash floods. Two research aircraft, the University of Wyoming King Air and the UK BAe 146, obtained detailed in situ and remote sensing measurements in, around, and below storms on several days. A new fast-scanning X-band dual-polarization Doppler radar made 360-deg volume scans over 10 elevation angles approximately every 5 minutes, and was augmented by two UK Met Office C-band radars and the Chilbolton S-band radar. Detailed aerosol measurements were made on the aircraft and on the ground. This paper: (i) provides an overview of the COPE field campaign and the resulting dataset; (ii) presents examples of heavy convective rainfall in clouds containing ice and also in relatively shallow clouds through the warm rain process alone; and (iii) explains how COPE data will be used to improve high-resolution NWP models for operational use.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:55686
Publisher:American Meteorological Society

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