The Convection Initiation and Downburst Experiment (CINDE) was conducted in the Denver, Colorado area from 22 June to 7 August 1987 to study processes leading to the formation of deep convection and the physics of downbursts. A total of 6 Doppler radars, 87 mesonet stations, 3 research aircraft, 8 sounding systems and numerous photographic facilities were deployed within an 85 km × 85 km area. A comprehensive data set was obtained including measurements of convergence lines, downbursts, and tornadoes that occurred on 35, 22, and 11 days, respectively.

This paper describes the objectives of the experiment and the specific facilities employed. Highlights and preliminary results are presented for several studies underway to show the type of data collected and to illustrate the sorts of analyses being pursued. Examples chosen include the topics of cloud initiation on stationary convergence lines, terrain-induced circulations, downbursts, tornadoes, and tracking chaff in precipitation-filled regions.

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1 J. Frankhauser, C. Kessinger, C. Knight, J. Stith, C. Wade, and R. Wakimoto contributed material used in this article.

2 National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO 80307 (The National Center for Atmospheric Research is sponsored by the National Science Foundation.)

3 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Environmental Research Laboratories, Boulder, CO 80303.

4 Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY 82017.