Document Type

Article

Publication Date

6-13-2009

Abstract

[1] A unique relation between raindrop size and fall speed vt(D) is assumed throughout atmospheric science. Yet, our speed versus size measurements of millions of drops during natural rainfall events show that many intermediate sized raindrops fall up to an order of magnitude faster than expected. Furthermore, images of drop clusters reveal that these “super‐terminal drops” are differently sized fragments of a recent break‐up, moving with the speed of the parent drop and relaxing towards vt(D). Additional evidence of the break‐up conjecture includes: (i) positive skewness in the distribution of fall speed deviations, (ii) strong size dependence of fall speed deviations and their maximum values and, (iii) preponderance of super‐terminal drops in the presence of large raindrops (i.e., during periods of high rainfall rates).

Publisher's Statement

Copyright 2009 by the American Geophysical Union. Publisher’s version of record: https://doi.org/10.1029/2008GL037111

Publication Title

Geophysical Research Letters

Version

Publisher's PDF

Included in

Physics Commons

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