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Visibility and Aerosol Size Frequency Distribution

Rudolf F. PueschelUniversity of Washington, Seattle

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Kenneth E. NollUniversity of Washington, Seattle

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Abstract

The visual quality of the atmosphere in terms of the meteorological range has become a frequently used working standard in aviation and air pollution. Calculations of the meteorological range based on measured size frequency distribution of aerosols in the atmosphere are compared with visibility observations and discussed with regard to existing weather conditions. The results show the existence of strong inhomogeneities in the aerosol content of air and indicate the necessity for objective means in order to quantitatively evaluate the visual quality of the atmosphere. It follows from the calculations that changes in refractive index and wavelength within their limiting values have little influence on the total extinction of any size distribution.

Abstract

The visual quality of the atmosphere in terms of the meteorological range has become a frequently used working standard in aviation and air pollution. Calculations of the meteorological range based on measured size frequency distribution of aerosols in the atmosphere are compared with visibility observations and discussed with regard to existing weather conditions. The results show the existence of strong inhomogeneities in the aerosol content of air and indicate the necessity for objective means in order to quantitatively evaluate the visual quality of the atmosphere. It follows from the calculations that changes in refractive index and wavelength within their limiting values have little influence on the total extinction of any size distribution.

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