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Survival of Cirrus Crystals in Clear Air

Roscoe R. Braham Jr.The University of Chicago, Ill.

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Paul Spyers-DuranThe University of Chicago, Ill.

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Abstract

During the summer of 1966 from Bemidji, Minn., aircraft collections of cirrus crystals were made with a continuous particle replicator. Actual samples show that cirrus crystal trails with a concentrations of 105–106 m−3 can survive a fall of 20,000 ft in clear air with a temperature/dew point spread of 15C. Computations of evaporation rates for falling crystals suggest that it is somewhat surprising that the crystals could have survived under the observed conditions; however, this may have been because input data for the calculations are inadequate.

Abstract

During the summer of 1966 from Bemidji, Minn., aircraft collections of cirrus crystals were made with a continuous particle replicator. Actual samples show that cirrus crystal trails with a concentrations of 105–106 m−3 can survive a fall of 20,000 ft in clear air with a temperature/dew point spread of 15C. Computations of evaporation rates for falling crystals suggest that it is somewhat surprising that the crystals could have survived under the observed conditions; however, this may have been because input data for the calculations are inadequate.

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