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The HYdrological cycle in the Mediterranean Experiment (HyMeX) Special Observing Period 2 (SOP2, January 27–March 15, 2013) was dedicated to the study of dense water formation in the Gulf of Lion in the northwestern Mediterranean. This paper outlines the deep convection of winter 2012–2013 and the meteorological conditions that produced it. Alternating phases of mixing and restratification are related to periods of high and low heat losses, respectively. High-resolution, realistic, three-dimensional models are essential for assessing the intricacy of buoyancy fluxes, horizontal advection, and convective processes. At the submesoscale, vertical velocities resulting from symmetric instabilities of the density front bounding the convection zone are crucial for ventilating the deep ocean. Finally, concomitant atmospheric and oceanic data extracted from the comprehensive SOP2 data set highlight the rapid, coupled evolution of oceanic and atmospheric boundary layer characteristics during a strong wind event.


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