Atlantic Tradewind Ocean-Atmosphere Mesoscale Interaction Campaign (ATOMIC)

Where: tropical North Atlantic east of Barbados

When: January - February 2020

shallow convective clouds
Clouds close to the ocean surface, a type of "shallow convective cloud," are critical to understanding climate and weather, but are poorly represented in models. ATOMIC studied air-sea interactions to advance understanding and prediction of U.S. weather and climate.

NOAA partnered with several universities and other programs to lead the Atlantic Tradewind Ocean–Atmosphere Mesoscale Interaction Campaign (ATOMIC). The field study took place in the tropical North Atlantic east of Barbados and investigated cloud and air-sea interaction processes with the goal of advancing understanding and prediction of U.S. weather and climate. ATOMIC was the U.S. complement to the European field campaign called EUREC4A (Elucidating the Role of Clouds-Circulation Coupling in Climate). This collaborative effort involved a unique combination of ships, piloted and remotely-controlled aircraft, and remotely-controlled ocean vehicles to characterize ocean and atmospheric properties. A suite of instruments was deployed on NOAA's R/V Ronald H. Brown and WP-3D research aircraft.