Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Clear view of the clouds will bring better weather forecasts

10.08.2005


Accurately forecasting rain will be easier thanks to new insights into clouds from the University of Leeds, UCL (University College London) and others. Details of a new model for predicting cloud and rain-formation are published today in the Proceedings of the Royal Society (10 August 2005).



Existing forecasting models – including ones used by the UK’s Meteorological Office - assume rain droplets fall through still air within a cloud. However, there is turbulence within clouds that can speed up droplet settling and increase the likelihood of rain.

The international team developed a new mathematical model and showed for the first time how pockets of whirling air (tiny eddies) encourage collisions between very small droplets (about 1/1000 of a cm) and slightly larger droplets within a cloud. The collisions lead to the rapid growth of the larger drops – larger than a critical size of 20 microns ( 1 micron is a millionth of a metre). This size is necessary for rain to form, fall out of the clouds and, when conditions are right, reach the ground.


The model’s results were checked against earlier measurements from aircraft flying through different types of clouds. The cloud measurements showed the model was more accurate than existing ones, which often underestimate rainfall.

Leeds earth and environment research fellow Dr Sat Ghosh: "When your plane comes in to land you can see patterns formed by whirling air and sometimes feel the turbulence as you descend through a cloud. As cloud droplets descend through the smallest whirls of turbulence they speed up, causing them to collide with each other and the drops to grow, eventually getting big enough to fall as rain."

Lord Julian Hunt from the UCL department of space and climate physics (and ex-Chief Executive of the UK Met Office) said: " With this theory it is possible to explain how dust in the atmosphere, for example over urban areas or over deserts, can cause the initiation of very small droplets so that big drops do not form. This can reduce the average rain fall, but can trigger exceptionally heavy rain in very deep clouds. This may have happened recently in Mumbai and Romania.’’

Further work which will help improve weather forecasting, including the way ice crystals, water droplets and particles interact is planned.

Dr Sat Ghosh | alfa
Further information:
http://www.env.leeds.ac.uk

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Upcycling of PET Bottles: New Ideas for Resource Cycles in Germany
25.06.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Betriebsfestigkeit und Systemzuverlässigkeit LBF

nachricht Dry landscapes can increase disease transmission
20.06.2018 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

World’s Largest Study on Allergic Rhinitis Reveals new Risk Genes

17.07.2018 | Life Sciences

Electronic stickers to streamline large-scale 'internet of things'

17.07.2018 | Information Technology

Behavior-influencing policies are critical for mass market success of low carbon vehicles

17.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>