The phenomenon of cloud voids, i.e., elongated volumes inside a cloud that are devoid of droplets, was observed with laser sheet photography in clouds at a mountain-top station. Two experimental cases, similar in turbulence conditions yet with diverse droplet size distributions and cloud void prevalence, are reported. A theoretical explanation is proposed based on the study of heavy inertial sedimenting particles inside a Burgers vortex. A general conclusion regarding void appearance is drawn from theoretical analysis. Numerical simulations of polydisperse droplet motion with realistic vortex parameters and Mie scattering visual effects accounted for can explain the presence of voids with sizes similar to that of the observed ones. Preferential concentration and sorting effects in a vortex tube are discussed for reasonable cloud conditions.
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
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Bodenschatz, J. F.,
Malinowski, S. P.,
Nowak, J. L.,
Turbulence induced cloud voids: Observation and interpretation.
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics.
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