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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-1049
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-1049
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 23 Oct 2018

Research article | 23 Oct 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

Turbulence Induced Cloud Voids: Observation and Interpretation

Katarzyna Karpińska1, Jonathan F. E. Bodenschatz2, Szymon P. Malinowski1, Jakub L. Nowak1, Steffen Risius2, Tina Schmeissner3, Raymond A. Shaw4, Holger Siebert3, Hengdong Xi2, Haitao Xu2, and Eberhard Bodenschatz2 Katarzyna Karpińska et al.
  • 1Institute of Geophysics, Faculty of Physics, University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland
  • 2Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Goetingen, Germany
  • 3Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research, Leipzig, Germany
  • 4Michigan Technological University, Houghton, Michigan, USA

Abstract. The phenomenon of cloud voids, i.e., elongated volumes inside a cloud that are devoid of droplets, was observed with laser sheet photography in clouds at a mountain-top station. Two experimental cases, similar in turbulence conditions yet with diverse droplet size distributions and cloud void prevalence, are reported. A theoretical explanation is proposed based on the study of heavy inertial sedimenting particles inside a Burgers vortex. A general conclusion regarding void appearance is drawn from theoretical analysis. Numerical simulations of polydisperse droplet motion with realistic vortex parameters and Mie scattering visual effects accounted for can explain the presence of voids with sizes similar to that of the observed ones. Preferential concentration and sorting effects in a vortex tube are discussed for reasonable cloud conditions.

Katarzyna Karpińska et al.
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Katarzyna Karpińska et al.
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Data supporting the paper "Turbulence induced cloud voids: observation and interpretation" K. Karpinska, J. F. Bodenschatz, S. P. Malinowski, J. L. Nowak, S. Risius, T. Schmeissner, R. A. Shaw, H. Siebert, H, Xi, H. Xu, and E. Bodenschatz https://doi.org/10.13140/RG.2.2.18758.11843

Katarzyna Karpińska et al.
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Short summary
Observations of clouds at a mountain-top laboratory revealed for the first time the presence of voids i.e., elongated volumes inside a cloud that are devoid of droplets. Theoretical and numerical analysis suggest that these voids are a result of strong and long-lasting vortex presence in turbulent air. If this is confirmed in further investigation the effect may become important part of models describing cloud evolution and rain formation.
Observations of clouds at a mountain-top laboratory revealed for the first time the presence of...
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