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Using a precise definition of clustering, it is shown that in two tropical cumulus clouds, droplets appear to be bunched over distances ranging from at least a kilometer or more down to several centimeters. A statistical framework is proposed for quantifying clustering in terms of a Poisson probability mixture. While these observations require further substantiation in many different clouds, droplet clustering may play a role in diverse phenomena from the coalescence growth of raindrops to the scattering of radiation by clouds.

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Copyright 1998 by the American Geophysical Union. Publisher’s version of record:

Publication Title

Journal of Geophysical Research


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Physics Commons



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