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Harry T. Ochs III

Abstract

A numerical cloud modeling project has been initiated as part of METROMEX. A two-dimensional time-dependent model of a vertical slice of the atmosphere has been applied to investigations of cumulus initiation in the St. Louis area on 7 and 10 August 1973. The results indicate that on these days the urban-related surface temperature distribution was a significant factor in determining the location of cumulus initiation. This result is supported by field observations from METROMEX.

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Harry T. Ochs III

Abstract

A model of an ascending parcel of air is used to evaluate and demonstrate the accuracy and utility of moment-conserving numerical techniques in cloud microphysical simulations. The sensitivity of the results to parameters of the computer code which might affect accuracy is evaluated. Discrepancies in the evolution of radar reflectivity are found to be satisfactorily small since the vertical displacement of equivalent radar reflectivities is shown to be within typical cloud model grid spacings. The collection calculation results are compared to a known solution and the condensation algorithm is tested by a comparison with a Lagrangian simulation. Simulations employing a maritime and two continental CCN distributions illuminate various features of the techniques employed. One of the continental cases is used to show the sensitivity of the evolution of large drops to the values of linear collision efficiency.

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Kenneth V. Beard and Harry T. Ochs III

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Kenneth V. Beard and Harry T. Ochs III

Abstract

Collisions between small precipitation drops in free fall were analyzed for sizes applicable to self-collection, the process that controls the spreading of precipitation drops to larger sizes. Results from 45 laboratory experiments were generalized using dimensionless parameters to scale the coalescence efficiency, for the temporary coalescence probability, and the satellite occurrence frequency. The coalescence efficiency for uncharged drops (ε0) was found to be highly correlated (ρ = 0.99) with a simple combination of factors that scale the tendency for colliding drops to bounce apart as a function of the Weber number (We) and size ratio (p). Charge-induced coalescence was scaled by the electric field between the drops, assuming charged conducting spheres. The coalescence efficiency was obtained as a function of the normalized charge using a semiempirical formula (ρ = 0.95) for the amount of charge required to eliminate bounce and temporary coalescence.

The occurrence of temporary coalescence is predicted by p We > 4 with a lower limit of p We > 1 for charge-induced coalescence. The fraction of collisions resulting in temporary coalescences increased with (1 – ε0)p We, whereas the fraction of collisions producing satellites increased with (1 – ε0) We2. Both fractions were highly correlated with their respective scaling parameters (ρ = 0.99). Satellite drop radii were found to increase linearly with the geometric mean radius of the parent drops. Mass transfer in collisions involving temporary coalescence and satellite generation was estimated for use in modeling studies.

Contour diagrams are provided for coalescence efficiency, temporary coalescence probability, and satellite occurrence frequency over a wide range of drop sizes for comparison with formulas based on previous laboratory results in the accretion and breakup regimes. Recommendations are given for applying present formulas to self-collection, as well as extending our findings to accretion and breakup.

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K. V. Beard and Harry T. Ochs III

Abstract

The collection efficiency has been measured for 15 size pairs of relatively uncharged drops in over 400 experimental runs. The results indicate that collection efficiencies fall in a narrow range of 0.60 to 0.70 even though the collector drop was varied between 63 and 100 μm radius and the collected drop from 11 to 26 μm radius. The measured values of collection efficiencies were consistently below collision efficiencies based on calculations using rigid sphere hydrodynamics. The coalescence efficiencies computed from the ratio of the theoretical collision efficiencies to the measured collection efficiencies were between 0.6 and 0.8. Our data show fair agreement with one previous coalescence model result, with an existing semi-empirical formula for the coalescence efficiency, and with the predicted trend of the coalescence efficiency to decrease with the size of the collected drop. A plausible interpretation of our experimental findings, consistent with previous coalescence studies, is that contact is prevented during a grazing trajectory by a hydrodynamic deflection which is enhanced by a slight deformation of the collector drop.

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Robert R. Czys and Harry T. Ochs III

Abstract

The influence of charge on coalescence was determined in the laboratory for isolated pairs of 340 and 190 μm water drops failing freely at terminal velocity. A microcomputer-controlled apparatus was used to produce collisions. Drop charges were independently controlled and collisions occurred in a humidified chamber at laboratory temperature and pressure. Two cameras were used to record the interactions from orthogonal directions and the photographs used to determine the impact angle for each collision. A single charge-independent critical impact angle of 43° ±1° was observed that distinguished an inner collision cross section for coalescence from an outer annular cross section for noncoalescence. Collisions occurring for impact angles less than the critical value always resulted in coalescence regardless of charge. Collisions having impact angles greater than the critical value resulted in either bounce, temporary coalescence or coalescence depending on charge. A satellite drop was produced with temporary coalescence at the intermediate charges of this experiment. Electrohydrodynamic theory in plane geometry applied to the conditions for deformable spheres gave an electric field strength between the approaching drop surfaces sufficient to cause a surface instability that may aid in drop coalescence.

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Harry T. Ochs III and David B. Johnson

Abstract

The properties of 3 cm radar first echoes were used to study the effects of the St. Louis, Missouri metropolitan area on precipitation initiation during the summer months of Project METROMEX. Good statistical support was found for a ∼150 m lowering of urban first echo tops and a ∼250 m lowering of urban first echo bases when compared to rural echoes observed on the same day. Urban echoes were found to be thicker than their rural counterparts; however, there is no statistical support for this difference. This result is most easily interpreted as suggesting a slight weakening of the updraft in urban clouds.

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Harry T. Ochs III and C. S. Yao

Abstract

The numerical methods necessary for the application of moment-conserving techniques to the study of warm rain microphysical processes in an Eulerian mass coordinate are described. When this technique is applied to simulations of condensation, collection and breakup the total drop distribution is divided into a number of Eulerian categories and three quantities pertaining to the drops within each category are retained between integration time steps. These three numbers are related to the drop concentration, the mean drop size and the standard deviation about this mean size. These techniques serve to minimize numerical spreading which would otherwise lead to the premature development of precipitation sized particles in a detailed microphysical simulation.

A picewise linear mass coordinate in conjunction with the moment-conserving techniques. allows conservation of cloud condensation nuclei and water mass to within computer truncation error. Methods for tracing the nuclei mass through the condensation, collection and breakup processes in saturated and sub-saturated air are developed.

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Harry T. Ochs III and Kenneth V. Beard

Abstract

A closed parcel model which simulates condensation, collection and breakup was used to evaluate the effects of recently measured collection efficiencies on precipitation development. Computations were made using theoretical collision efficiencies assuming coalescence efficiencies of 100% and, for comparison, with semiempirical coalescence efficiencies of 50–100%. The model indicated that the development of a detectable radar echo was (retarded in time) by 250 to 500 meters from the effects of limited coalescence and that the concentration of precipitation drops was generally reduced by several orders of magnitude.

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Harry T. Ochs III and Stanley Q. Kidder

Abstract

Vast quantities of frequently updated weather data for both forecasting and nowcasting are generally required in meteorological field programs. The continuing synthesis of this data to suit specific operations is best accomplished using computers. Recent advances in telecommunications and computer hardware have allowed improved assimilation and presentation of weather data at remote field sites at significantly reduced costs. This paper describes a forecasting/nowcasting system designed and assembled to support a weather modification field project in Illinois. With minor modifications, this system can be located anywhere that has access to electrical power and standard telephone lines. The use of new technology with on-site computer capabilities allows rapid generation of products specifically tailored to meet the requirements of individual field projects, both for forecasting the operations and nowcasting during operations.

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