Simulating realistic 3-D clouds

A few years ago, I experimented with some ideas concerning solar radiative transfer in three-dimensionally inhomogeneous clouds and published a paper in the Journal of Atmospheric Science.   One element of the study was the creation of computer-simulated 3-D clouds via a surprisingly simple method:  generating red-noise (low-pass filtered white noise) on a periodic domain to represent local fluctuations in water vapor density and then imposing a threshold to determine which fluctuations were supersaturated and would therefore appear as visible cloud. Last summer, I resurrected these ideas and undertook some more simulations, but this time I wanted to better visualize what my computer simulated clouds looked like and assess how well they resembled real clouds.  So I adapted my Monte Carlo radiative transfer code to store the local (and, for simplicity, directionally isotropic) scattering source function and then wrote an additional program to simulate flying through the clouds.   Here is a sample result: Not bad for a first attempt!  My next steps will be to incorporate color and realistic Rayleigh scattering, possibly at even higher spatial resolution.  

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