Evolution of non-uniformly seeded warm clouds in idealized turbulent conditions

Stanislav Derevyanko, Gregory Falkovich, Sergei Turitsyn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present a mean-field model of cloud evolution that describes droplet growth due to condensation and collisions and droplet loss due to fallout. The model accounts for the effects of cloud turbulence both in a large-scale turbulent mixing and in a microphysical enhancement of condensation and collisions. The model allows for an effective numerical simulation by a scheme that is conservative in water mass and keeps accurate count of the number of droplets. We first study the homogeneous situation and determine how the rain-initiation time depends on the concentration of cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) and turbulence level. We then consider clouds with an inhomogeneous concentration of CCN and evaluate how the rain initiation time and the effective optical depth vary in space and time. We argue that over-seeding even a part of a cloud by small hygroscopic nuclei, one can substantially delay the onset and increase the amount of precipitation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number075019
JournalNew Journal of Physics
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 2008

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  • cloud evolution
  • droplet growth
  • droplet loss
  • cloud turbulence


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