Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Climate Research Facility US Department of Energy

TAMU Mobile Facility Measurements during TRACER

1 June 2022 - 1 September 2022

Lead Scientist: Anita Rapp

Observatory: osc, osc

One of the main goals of the upcoming DOE ARM TRACER campaign near Houston, TX is to improve understanding of how meteorology and aerosols impact storm dynamical and microphysical processes in deep convection to better constrain and improve their model representation. The Houston area is strongly influenced by sea- and bay-breeze circulations that generate convergence and help to initiate and organize deep convection. To properly isolate and understand the roles of varied meteorological conditions and cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) and ice nucleation particles (INP) distributions in different air masses, co-located thermodynamic, kinematic, and aerosol vertical profile observations are needed. The focus of this campaign is to provide these key measurements in air masses both in front of and behind sea/bay breeze fronts moving through the greater Houston area. The overarching scientific goal of this campaign is to understand how the vertical distributions of both CCN and INP correspond to the inflow layer of deep convection in maritime, background continental, and polluted continental air masses, and how these variations influence deep convection. To achieve this goal, we will deploy a Texas A&M University (TAMU) mobile measurement facility in conjunction with ARM TRACER facilities. To fully sample the spatial variability in both meteorological conditions and aerosols, we will deploy our fully mobile instrument trailer on 30 of the TRACER IOP days from June-September 2021. The trailer will be deployed twice each operations day and equipped with a radiosonde system, a micropulse lidar, and surface-level aerosol measuring equipment including a sequential mobility particle sizer, a portable aerosol spectrometer, a CCN counter, and an aerosol impactor for offline INP analysis. Most deployments are anticipated to follow the most common regional scenario of inland propagating convection triggered by a sea-breeze front, with early measurements at a maritime airmass site and second deployment to an inland continental air mass site that serves as the inflow region to convection or is unsampled by the ARM fixed sites. This strategy will maximize the benefit of the ARM TRACER measurements by supplementing their datasets with crucial simultaneous measurements of regional variability in different mesoscale air masses.


Sarah Brooks
Chris Nowotarski


  • Parent Campaign
  • Sibling Campaign


Rapp AD, SD Brooks, CJ Nowotarski, M Sharma, S Thompson, B Chen, B Matthews, and R Li. 2023. Texas A&M University Mobile Facility Measurements during TRACER Field Campaign Report. Ed. by Robert Stafford, ARM user facility. DOE/SC-ARM-23-023. 10.2172/1974359.

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Campaign Data Sets

IOP Participant Data Source Name Final Data
Sarah Brooks Cloud Condensation Nuclei Counter Order Data
Sarah Brooks Condensation Particle Counter Order Data
Sarah Brooks Micropulse Lidar Order Data
Sarah Brooks Scanning Mobility Particle Sizer Order Data
Anita Rapp iMET Order Data