Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Forecasting where and when the rain will fall

24.11.2003


Leeds researchers are aiming to unlock the secrets of the British weather, bringing forecasters one step closer to that elusive holy grail: the ability to predict exactly where, when and how much rain is going to fall.



Dr Alan Blyth from the school of the environment explains: “There’s still a lot we don’t know about exactly how rain is formed, so it’s no surprise that the forecasting models don’t always get it right, particularly in relation to the quantity of rain that’s going to fall.”

Most rain in the UK is caused by ice crystals growing to such a size that they fall to earth, melting as they enter warmer air. But how and when these crystals form still isn’t clear. Some water droplets in clouds will freeze and begin the process at –10oC; others need temperatures closer to –40oC.


Using the latest equipment developed in Britain and the USA, the research team will measure the size and shape of ice crystals in the clouds from a specially equipped NERC aircraft. Although the plane travels faster than 100 metres a second, the ‘cloud particle imager’ can capture pictures of ice crystals just 0.001mm in size.

“We thought that the droplets which froze first were those which had a tiny mineral grain in them, known as an ‘ice nucleus’.” said Dr Blyth. “We think there’s approximately one ice nucleus per hundred thousand water droplets, but earlier tests I carried out in New Mexico showed that at –15oC, far more ice crystals are forming than there could be ice nuclei, so there must be another process at work.”

The ability to take pictures of such small ice crystals means the researchers can see what’s happening at a very early stage of the process, while the crystals are just starting to form. Their findings can then be fed into the forecasting models to provide more accurate predictions.

The research is a collaboration with the Met Office, UMIST, the University of Hertfordshire and the national centre for atmospheric research in the USA.

Vanessa Bridge | alfa
Further information:
http://reporter.leeds.ac.uk/494/s1.htm

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht The unintended consequences of dams and reservoirs
14.11.2018 | Uppsala University

nachricht Earth's magnetic field measured using artificial stars at 90 kilometers altitude
14.11.2018 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

Im Focus: Coping with errors in the quantum age

Physicists at ETH Zurich demonstrate how errors that occur during the manipulation of quantum system can be monitored and corrected on the fly

The field of quantum computation has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Bit by bit, quantum devices start to challenge conventional computers, at least...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Epoxy compound gets a graphene bump

14.11.2018 | Materials Sciences

Microgel powder fights infection and helps wounds heal

14.11.2018 | Health and Medicine

How algae and carbon fibers could sustainably reduce the athmospheric carbon dioxide concentration

14.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>