The interactions and feedbacks among clouds, aerosols, pollutants, and the thermodynamic and kinematic environment remains an area of active research with important implications for our understanding of climate, weather, and air quality. These linkages are further complicated in coastal and urban environments where local circulations and anthropogenic influences impact each of these components and their interactions. Within this context, fundamental questions regarding the life cycle of convective clouds, aerosols, and pollutants have brought together a diverse, integrated, and interagency collaboration of scientists to collect and analyze measurements, in the Houston, Texas, area, from the summer of 2021 through the summer of 2022, with subsequent modeling studies to address these important research objectives. The U.S. Department of Energy’s Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Facility and Atmospheric System Research (ASR) Program, the National Science Foundation’s (NSF’s) Physical and Dynamic Meteorology Program, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA’s) Tropospheric Composition Research and Health and Air Quality Applied Sciences Programs and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) are collaborating on a joint set of field campaigns to study the interactions of cloud, aerosol, and pollutants within the coastal, urban environment. In the Houston area, onshore flow from the Gulf of Mexico and the associated sea-breeze circulation generates numerous isolated convective cells, particularly in the summer months, that interact with a variety of urban and industrial emissions.
Fundamental questions regarding the life cycle of convective clouds, aerosols, and pollutants have brought together a diverse, integrated, and interagency collaboration of scientists to collect and analyze measurements.