Fine structure of cloud droplet concentration as seen from the Fast-FSSP measurements. Part II: Results of in situ observations

M. Pinsky, Alexander P. Khain*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations

Abstract

A new feature of cloud structure has been discovered while analyzing the measurements obtained in situ in 57 clouds by the Fast Forward-Scattering Spectrometer Probe (FSSP). By means of a novel technique of statistical analysis, it is shown that droplets form distinct "communities" of about 1-cm scale that differ in concentration, thus creating a highly inhomogeneous cloud microstructure (inch clouds). Those droplet clusters can be found all over the cloud volume and appear to be induced by droplet inertia within a turbulent flow. An increase in turbulence intensity and droplet inertia results in an increase of concentration fluctuations. The authors believe that this finding is the first direct evidence of turbulence-inertia impact on droplet motion in clouds that leads to formation of microstructure conductive to precipitation formation.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)65-73
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Applied Meteorology
Volume42
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2003

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