The Convective Storm Initiation Project (CSIP) is an international project to understand precisely where, when, and how convective clouds form and develop into showers in the mainly maritime environment of southern England. A major aim of CSIP is to compare the results of the very high resolution Met Office weather forecasting model with detailed observations of the early stages of convective clouds and to use the newly gained understanding to improve the predictions of the model.

A large array of ground-based instruments plus two instrumented aircraft, from the U.K. National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS) and the German Institute for Meteorology and Climate Research (IMK), Karlsruhe, were deployed in southern England, over an area centered on the meteorological radars at Chilbolton, during the summers of 2004 and 2005. In addition to a variety of ground-based remote-sensing instruments, numerous rawinsondes were released at one- to two-hourly intervals from six closely spaced sites. The Met Office weather radar network and Meteosat satellite imagery were used to provide context for the observations made by the instruments deployed during CSIP.

This article presents an overview of the CSIP field campaign and examples from CSIP of the types of convective initiation phenomena that are typical in the United Kingdom. It shows the way in which certain kinds of observational data are able to reveal these phenomena and gives an explanation of how the analyses of data from the field campaign will be used in the development of an improved very high resolution NWP model for operational use.

Department of Meteorology, University of Reading, Reading, United Kingdom

Institute for Atmospheric Science, School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom

Joint Centre for Mesoscale Meteorology, Met Office, and University of Reading, Reading, United Kingdom

Institut für Meteorologie und Klimaforschung, Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe/Universität Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe, Germany

Radio Communications Research Unit, Space Science and Technology Department, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Chilton, United Kingdom

Cardington Field Site, Met Office, Cardington Airfield, United Kingdom

School of Earth, Atmospheric, and Environmental Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom

Institut für Flugführung, Universität Braunschweig, Braunschweig, Germany

School of Environment and Life Sciences, University of Salford, Salford, United Kingdom

Met Office, Exeter, United Kingdom

CCLRC Chilbolton Observatory, Chilbolton, United Kingdom

Department I: Geodesy and Remote Sensing, GFZ—Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany

Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, University of Bath, Bath, United Kingdom

Department of Physics, University of Wales at Aberystwyth, Aberystwyth, United Kingdom

CORRESPONDING AUTHOR: Alan M. Blyth, Institute for Atmospheric Science, School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, United Kingdom, E-mail: blyth@env.leeds.ac.uk

The Convective Storm Initiation Project (CSIP) is an international project to understand precisely where, when, and how convective clouds form and develop into showers in the mainly maritime environment of southern England. A major aim of CSIP is to compare the results of the very high resolution Met Office weather forecasting model with detailed observations of the early stages of convective clouds and to use the newly gained understanding to improve the predictions of the model.

A large array of ground-based instruments plus two instrumented aircraft, from the U.K. National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS) and the German Institute for Meteorology and Climate Research (IMK), Karlsruhe, were deployed in southern England, over an area centered on the meteorological radars at Chilbolton, during the summers of 2004 and 2005. In addition to a variety of ground-based remote-sensing instruments, numerous rawinsondes were released at one- to two-hourly intervals from six closely spaced sites. The Met Office weather radar network and Meteosat satellite imagery were used to provide context for the observations made by the instruments deployed during CSIP.

This article presents an overview of the CSIP field campaign and examples from CSIP of the types of convective initiation phenomena that are typical in the United Kingdom. It shows the way in which certain kinds of observational data are able to reveal these phenomena and gives an explanation of how the analyses of data from the field campaign will be used in the development of an improved very high resolution NWP model for operational use.

Department of Meteorology, University of Reading, Reading, United Kingdom

Institute for Atmospheric Science, School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom

Joint Centre for Mesoscale Meteorology, Met Office, and University of Reading, Reading, United Kingdom

Institut für Meteorologie und Klimaforschung, Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe/Universität Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe, Germany

Radio Communications Research Unit, Space Science and Technology Department, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Chilton, United Kingdom

Cardington Field Site, Met Office, Cardington Airfield, United Kingdom

School of Earth, Atmospheric, and Environmental Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom

Institut für Flugführung, Universität Braunschweig, Braunschweig, Germany

School of Environment and Life Sciences, University of Salford, Salford, United Kingdom

Met Office, Exeter, United Kingdom

CCLRC Chilbolton Observatory, Chilbolton, United Kingdom

Department I: Geodesy and Remote Sensing, GFZ—Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany

Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, University of Bath, Bath, United Kingdom

Department of Physics, University of Wales at Aberystwyth, Aberystwyth, United Kingdom

CORRESPONDING AUTHOR: Alan M. Blyth, Institute for Atmospheric Science, School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, United Kingdom, E-mail: blyth@env.leeds.ac.uk
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