Doswellian Lunacy Prevails in the Cult of Meteorology/Tornadogenesis
Chuck Doswell said…
Finally, a large mixing ratio for water vapor in air is about 10 g per kg of dry air. If all the water vapor in a given volume were to condense to liquid water, the mass of the water in the volume would not change. However, because the water is now in its much denser liquid form, it could then fall out of that volume, leaving behind only dry air. The weight of the remaining air would be reduced by about 1%.
In the process of condensing, the water would release latent heat – water has a latent heat of 2260 kJ per kg. For a mixing ratio of 10 g per kg, that would amount to 22.6 kJ of latent heat per kg of dry air. The release of that latent heat within that volume would warm the remaining dry air.
To determine the amount of warming, we need the specific heat of dry air, which is 1.0 kJ per kg per deg C. Thus, the release of latent heat by the complete condensation of 10 g of water vapor per kg of dry air would raise the temperature of the air by 22.6 deg C!
It is this large release of latent heat from condensing water vapor that powers thunderstorms.