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Lecture 13 - PRECIPITATION PROCESSES Simplified process...

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PRECIPITATION PROCESSES ** Simplified process: * Rain : Water vapor condenses into liquid water droplets forming clouds. These droplets coalesce (join together) and become heavy enough to be pulled down by gravity as precipitation and do not evaporate before they hit the ground as a raindrop. H2OV ---------------------> liquid water ----------------------------> precip (Clouds) * Snow : Water vapor condenses into liquid water droplets forming clouds. But also within the clouds water vapor changes to ice crystals by deposition . These ice crystals coalesce (join together) and become heavy enough to be pulled down by gravity as precipitation and do not melt before they hit the ground as a snowflake. H2OV ---------------------> ice crystals ----------------------------> precip (Clouds) * cloud droplet avg. size is about 20 microns in diameter & fall very slowly, 1000 m/48 hrs; usually evaporate * 1 raindrop = about 1 million cloud droplets * so cloud droplets must coalesce or join together into a raindrop to avoid evaporation *** 2 mechanisms to explain precipitation formation: Bergeron Process : or Ice-Crystal Process * primary process for forming rain in the middle & high latitudes and only process to form snow * need freezing nuclei to intimate freezing of water vapor (deposition)
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