Humidity and Particle Fields Around Some Small Cumulus Clouds

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  • 1 Atmospheric Sciences Department, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
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Abstract

Aircraft-borne measurements showed that five small cumulus clouds were surrounded by regions of high humidity out to distances of several cloud radii from their centers. Total particle concentrations in the regions of high humidity were about twice those in the air at the same level but well removed from the cloud boundaries. The regions of high humidity and particle concentrations also coincided with regions of high turbulence surrounding the clouds. In addition to affecting particle production, regions of high humidity surrounding clouds can be expected to affect chemical process and atmospheric radiation transfer.

Abstract

Aircraft-borne measurements showed that five small cumulus clouds were surrounded by regions of high humidity out to distances of several cloud radii from their centers. Total particle concentrations in the regions of high humidity were about twice those in the air at the same level but well removed from the cloud boundaries. The regions of high humidity and particle concentrations also coincided with regions of high turbulence surrounding the clouds. In addition to affecting particle production, regions of high humidity surrounding clouds can be expected to affect chemical process and atmospheric radiation transfer.

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