Mixed-Phase Microphysics and Cloud Electrification

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  • 1 Center for Meteorology and Physical Oceanography, Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • | 2 Laboratory for Atmospheric Research, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington
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Abstract

A number of experimental studies have shown that sublimating ice acquires negative charge and ice undergoing vapor deposition acquires positive charge. Microphysical calculations are performed to determine the diffusional state (i.e., sublimation versus deposition) of riming graupel particles. Comparisons with earlier laboratory measurements of charge transfer to a rotating rimer in a cloud of supercooled water droplets and ice crystals again suggest that sublimating graupel particles charge negatively and graupel undergoing deposition charge positively. Implications for charge separation in thunderstorms are discussed.

Abstract

A number of experimental studies have shown that sublimating ice acquires negative charge and ice undergoing vapor deposition acquires positive charge. Microphysical calculations are performed to determine the diffusional state (i.e., sublimation versus deposition) of riming graupel particles. Comparisons with earlier laboratory measurements of charge transfer to a rotating rimer in a cloud of supercooled water droplets and ice crystals again suggest that sublimating graupel particles charge negatively and graupel undergoing deposition charge positively. Implications for charge separation in thunderstorms are discussed.

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