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Question:
Is it true that supercooled water droplets may be more plentiful than ice crystals in certain sub-freezing regions of cold clouds?


Replies:
Robin,

Yes, supercooled water droplets are commonly more plentiful in certain parts of the cloud where the temperature is below freezing. The ice crystals can collide with the supercooled droplets, resulting in the droplets immediately freezing to the ice crystal, making it larger (this is how hail tends to form) or if the ice crystals are plentiful enough, they may rob the water droplets of their water and increase in size that way.

David R. Cook
Meteorologist
Climate Research Section
Environmental Science Division
Argonne National Laboratory


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