On the Surface of Clouds

Szymon P. Malinowski Université du Québec à Montreal, Quebec, Canada

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Isztar Zawadzki Université du Québec à Montreal, Quebec, Canada

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Abstract

The cloud–environment mixing process is considered in terms of fractal properties of the cloud-clear air interface. The fractal dimension of the cloud surface is estimated from high-resolution airborne data. The value obtained is D = 2.55 in a range of scales from at least 10 m to over 1000 m with the possibility of even greater extension. This differs significantly from values obtained in shear-generated, well-developed, and homogeneous turbulence. The distribution of filament sizes of cloudy and clear air and estimates of the cloud surface and characteristic time of mixing process are given.

Abstract

The cloud–environment mixing process is considered in terms of fractal properties of the cloud-clear air interface. The fractal dimension of the cloud surface is estimated from high-resolution airborne data. The value obtained is D = 2.55 in a range of scales from at least 10 m to over 1000 m with the possibility of even greater extension. This differs significantly from values obtained in shear-generated, well-developed, and homogeneous turbulence. The distribution of filament sizes of cloudy and clear air and estimates of the cloud surface and characteristic time of mixing process are given.

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