Entrainment

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entrainment

  1. In meteorology, the mixing of environmental air into a preexisting organized air current so that the environmental air becomes part of the current; the opposite of detrainment.

    Entrainment of air into clouds, especially cumulus, is said to be inhomogeneous when the timescale for mixing of environmental air is very much greater than the timescale for drop evaporation. Under these conditions, which are often found when environmental air is first entrained into cumulus, regions of cloud and entrained air are intertwined, with evaporation occurring only on the edges of the interface between the cloudy and entrained environmental air.

  2. The process by which turbulent fluid within a mixed layer incorporates adjacent fluid that is nonturbulent, or much less turbulent; thus entrainment always proceeds toward the nonturbulent layer.

    In the absence of advection effects, this tends to deepen the mixed layer.

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