Convective Processes Experiment (CPEX)

The NASA Convective Processes Experiment (CPEX) aircraft field campaign took place in the North Atlantic-Gulf of Mexico-Caribbean Sea region from 25 May-25 June 2017. CPEX conducted a total of sixteen DC-8 missions from 27 May-24 June. The 16 missions covered a wide range of weather conditions from clear and calm wind, isolated convective cloud systems, to Tropical Storm Cindy (2017). It is the first field campaign that collected airborne observations continually from pre-tropical disturbance in the Caribbean Sea, to tropical depression, and formation of Tropical Storm Cindy in the Gulf of Mexico prior to landfall.

2017 CPEX logo

The three main science objectives of CPEX were:

  1. Improve understanding of convective processes including cloud dynamics, downdrafts, cold pools and thermodynamics during initiation, growth, and dissipation.
  2. Obtain a comprehensive set of simultaneous wind, temperature, and moisture profiles, using Doppler wind lidar (DAWN), microwave radiometer and sounder (HAMSR/MASC), and GPS dropsondes, conduct a quantitative evaluation of those profiles in the vicinity of scattered and organized deep convection measured by airborne precipitation radar (APR2), in all phases of convective life cycle.
  3. Improve model representation of convective and boundary layer processes over the tropical oceans using a cloud-resolving, fully coupled atmosphere-ocean model, and assimilate the wind, temperature and humidity profiles into the model.




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