#WxGeekSpeak: Cloud Condensation Nuclei

Every week, the blog introduces you to a technical term from the American Meteorology Society’s “Glossary of Meteorology”. Welcome to #WxGeekSpeak!

What if I were to tell you that something as simple as a speck of dust could help develop a thunderstorm? In the debut of #WxGeekSpeak, I explain why cloud condensation nuclei is an important element in our atmosphere.

Full definition of cloud condensation nuclei: (Abbreviated CCN.) Hygroscopic aerosol particles that can serve as nuclei of atmospheric cloud droplets, that is, particles on which water condenses (activates) at supersaturations typical of atmospheric cloud formation (fraction of one to a few percent, depending on cloud type).

Concentrations of CCN need to be given in terms of a supersaturation spectrum covering the range of interest or at a specified supersaturation value.

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