Shape of fair weather clouds
cloud dynamics, phase diagram, hydrodynamic turbulence, map lattices
We introduce a model which accounts for the shape of cumulus clouds exclusively in terms of thermal plumes or thermals. The plumes are explicitly represented by a simple potential flow generated by singularities (sources and sinks) and are thus laminar, but with their motion create a field which supports the cloud. We compare this model with actual clouds by means of various shape descriptors including the fractal dimension, and find agreement.
Wang, Y., & Zocchi, G. (2010). Shape of fair weather clouds. Physics Faculty Publications and Presentations., 104 (11), 118502. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.104.118502