A Stochastic Electrical Model of an Infinite Cloud: Charge Generation and Precipitation Development

William D. Scott Department of Environment Sciences, Tel-Aviv University, Ramat Aviv, Israel

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Zev Levin Department of Environment Sciences, Tel-Aviv University, Ramat Aviv, Israel

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Abstract

A stochastic numerical cloud model is used to investigate simultaneously growth of precipitation, the formation of electrical charges on the particles, and the development of the ambient electric field utilizing the polarization charging mechanism. The results indicate a close coupling between precipitation growth and electrification. Precipitation is reduced when the electric field reaches magnitudes of kilovolts per centimeter. The distributions of charge on the particles show charges of a realistic magnitude. Simple restraints on the coalescence efficiency based on electric charge show that, indeed particle charges can have a profound effect on rain development through coalescence. The overall results qualitatively agree with the results from the continuous collection model of Ziv and Levin, i.e., the partial levitation of the particles due to electrical forces and the termination of electric field growth can occur at electric field strengths large enough for lightning.

Abstract

A stochastic numerical cloud model is used to investigate simultaneously growth of precipitation, the formation of electrical charges on the particles, and the development of the ambient electric field utilizing the polarization charging mechanism. The results indicate a close coupling between precipitation growth and electrification. Precipitation is reduced when the electric field reaches magnitudes of kilovolts per centimeter. The distributions of charge on the particles show charges of a realistic magnitude. Simple restraints on the coalescence efficiency based on electric charge show that, indeed particle charges can have a profound effect on rain development through coalescence. The overall results qualitatively agree with the results from the continuous collection model of Ziv and Levin, i.e., the partial levitation of the particles due to electrical forces and the termination of electric field growth can occur at electric field strengths large enough for lightning.

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