Numerical simulation of an industrial cumulus and comparison with observations

by Francis W. Murray, Lloyd Randall Koenig, Paul M. Tag

Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price Price
Add to Cart Paperback44 pages $23.00 $18.40 20% Web Discount

A two-dimensional field-of-flow numerical model of cloud development is used to study clouds over a refinery resulting from heat dissipation. The observed vertical structure of the atmosphere provided initial conditions. When conditions were matched to those reported, the simulated cloud agreed in most particulars with observations. Sensitivity tests showed that the simulated cloud too strongly depends on ambient wind speed and shear. This perhaps is a generic defect of two-dimensional formulations. The simulated cloud's response to expected changes in heat flux density appears more realistic than its response to small changes in ambient wind. The cloud evolution consists of bubbles forming and breaking away from the main cloud mass, then moving downwind and dissipating. This behavior characterizes real clouds associated with a stationary heat source. The simulation also predicts that under appropriate conditions secondary clouds form far downwind.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.