Impact of high- and low-vorticity turbulence on cloud–environment mixing and cloud microphysics processes

Kumar, Bipin; Ranjan, Rahul; Yau, Man-Kong; Bera, Sudarsan; Rao, Suryachandra A.

Turbulent mixing of dry air affects the evolution of the cloud droplet size spectrum via various mechanisms. In a turbulent cloud, high- and low-vorticity regions coexist, and inertial clustering of cloud droplets can occur in low-vorticity regions. The nonuniformity in the spatial distribution of the size and in the number of droplets, variable vertical velocity in vortical turbulent structures, and dilution by entrainment/mixing may result in spatial supersaturation variability, which affects the evolution of the cloud droplet size spectrum via condensation and evaporation processes. To untangle the processes involved in mixing phenomena, a 3D direct numerical simulation of turbulent mixing followed by droplet evaporation/condensation in a submeter-sized cubed domain consisting of a large number of droplets was performed in this study. The analysis focused on the thermodynamic and microphysical characteristics of the droplets and the flow in high- and low-vorticity regions. The impact of vorticity generation in turbulent flows on mixing and cloud microphysics is illustrated.

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Kumar, Bipin / Ranjan, Rahul / Yau, Man-Kong / et al: Impact of high- and low-vorticity turbulence on cloud–environment mixing and cloud microphysics processes. 2021. Copernicus Publications.

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