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14 facts about rain you possibly haven't heard of 9/8/2015 •

14 facts about rain you possibly haven't heard of

"It's raining again" - how often people all around the world utter this phrase. It is no wonder, since rain is one of the most frequent natural phenomena and the most frequent type of precipitations. Yearly around 120 000 mi3 (500 000 km3) of water rain down the Earth. This is almost 20 times as much as the amount of water in all lakes of the largest country in the world Russia.


We all know that rain has its specific smell. In fact, the source of the smell is not rain itself but bacteria living in the soil – actinomyces. These bacteria are thrown upwards by raindrops and thus we feel the smell.

40 days and nights lasted the heavy rain during the Flood described in the Bible. Meteorologists call the rain heavy if there is rainfall of at least 0.3 inches (8 mm) per hour. So, after 40 days of continuous rain there must have been about 302 inches (25 ft or 7.68 m) of water.

1 inch (2.5 cm) - this will be the height of a water layer that will cover the planet's firm land if all the moisture contained in our atmosphere rain down.

0.1 micron is a diameter of the smallest drop of fog or mist, whereas the smallest raindrop is 5 thousand times larger.

0.08 inches (2 mm) of rainfall yearly are typical of some regions of the driest place on Earth - the Atacama Desert in Chile. Here scientists detected 0% of relative humidity.

197 ft/sec (60 m/sec) is the average speed at which a raindrop approaches the Earth's surface. At the beginning of its journey, it has a form of a pancake and before reaching the surface it resembles a tiny parachute.

3,280 ft (0.6 mi or 1000 m) is the minimum altitude of a rain cloud (nimbus cloud).

3,280/197 (1000 / 60) = 16.6 sec is the time needed for a raindrop to reach the Earth.

550 tons is a weight of an average woolpack-cloud or cumulus while a thunder-cloud or cumulonimbus is usually 20 times heavier.

247 days lasted the longest rain on record. The population of Oahu Island (one of the Hawaiian Islands) had to live in the rain from August 27, 1993 till April 30, 1994.

0.02- 0.2 in (0.5 – 6 mm) is a size of a raindrop. If drops are smaller than it is drizzle or mist. Such tiny drops are too light to reach the ground: they just hover in the air.

42 ft (12.7 m) is the annual amount of rainfall in the world's rainiest place Lloro-Choco, a town in Colombia. As a comparison, the average yearly precipitation for New York is only 47 inches (1200 mm).

A drop should have a diameter of no less than 0.1 in (2.5 mm) to flow down a window glass otherwise it will stick to it.


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