aspects of cumulonimbus study

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  • 1 Imperial College, London, England
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Problems set by cumulonimbus clouds demand recognition of air motion on many scales and in three dimensions. Evolution of the storms and their precipitation depend essentially on the travel of particles across the air motion. The observation and computation needed to improve theory are formidable, and their expanse is so great that support is sought in the potential reward of artificial modification. (However, it is likely that for a long time technique will be tentative and proof of effect, elusive.)

Nevertheless, progress has been impressive and will continue apace if the magnitude of the problems is faced and if some ruthlessness of generalization is applied in the acquisition and synthesis of data. Examples are given of apparently simple questions difficult to answer with confidence; they should continually be asked to expose misconceptions and provoke fresh ideas.

1 A slightly amended version of an invited paper presented in absentia at the SESAME Thunderstorm-Scale Workshop held 3–5 March 1976 in Norman, Okla.

Problems set by cumulonimbus clouds demand recognition of air motion on many scales and in three dimensions. Evolution of the storms and their precipitation depend essentially on the travel of particles across the air motion. The observation and computation needed to improve theory are formidable, and their expanse is so great that support is sought in the potential reward of artificial modification. (However, it is likely that for a long time technique will be tentative and proof of effect, elusive.)

Nevertheless, progress has been impressive and will continue apace if the magnitude of the problems is faced and if some ruthlessness of generalization is applied in the acquisition and synthesis of data. Examples are given of apparently simple questions difficult to answer with confidence; they should continually be asked to expose misconceptions and provoke fresh ideas.

1 A slightly amended version of an invited paper presented in absentia at the SESAME Thunderstorm-Scale Workshop held 3–5 March 1976 in Norman, Okla.

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