Articles on Rain

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The math of raindrops. Stefan Holm/shutterstock.com

What happens when a raindrop hits a puddle?

Why does the impact of rain in a puddle look different from when it falls elsewhere, like in a lake or the ocean? A 'puddle equation' dives deep into the secret math of ripples.
Historic flooding in the Midwest, including this farm in Nebraska, has caused widespread damage. DroneBase via AP

For a flooded Midwest, climate forecasts offer little comfort

A climatologist who studies precipitation trends explains how climate change is projected to make flooding events in the Midwest more severe and more frequent.
The heat makes the drought even worse, because it makes the plants more thirsty so they have to drink more. Tim J Keegan/flickr

Curious Kids: why do we have a drought?

We can't make it rain. But you are already helping if you don't use more water than you need. And you can talk to your parents about the planet getting warmer, because the heat makes drought worse.
Meteorologists use their own experience, which helps them to decide whether the computer’s prediction is likely to be right. AAP Image/Chris Pavlich

Curious Kids: how do people know what the weather will be?

Twice every day the Bureau of Meteorology sends out the official weather forecasts for towns and cities across Australia. Here's how we work out what to say in them.
Storm clouds move over the Illawarra south of Sydney on Wednesday, November 28 2018. Sydney received more than a month’s worth of rain in just two hours, with Observatory Hill recording 84.6mm by 7am. The November average is 83.8mm. Dean Lewins/AAP

Sydney storms could be making the Queensland fires worse

Bushfires across Queensland are fanned by high winds pushed north by a strong low in NSW.
As water vapour (gas) cools, it slows down. The small parts, the molecules, start to gather together, especially on cold things like a cool leaf. Flickr/Richard Nix

Curious Kids: What is dew?

When water turns from a gas into a liquid, it forms droplets. Whether those droplets are dew or rain depends on where the droplet forms.
Maximum temperatures for January to September were the warmest on record for the Murray–Darling Basin and New South Wales. DEAN LEWINS/AAP

Australia moves to El Niño alert and the drought is likely to continue

After the warmest month on record, it looks like Australia will have an El Niño event – which means the drought is likely to continue.
Folklore says we might be able to predict the coming of rain by observing the behaviour of ants. from www.shutterstock.com

We’ve got apps and radars – but can ants predict rain?

Ants have many tricks to deal with rain – like holding their breath, blocking nest entrances or drinking excess water and releasing it elsewhere by 'communal peeing.' But can they see rain coming?
Your nose knows what’s on the way. Lucy Chian/Unsplash

Why you can smell rain

A weather expert explains where petrichor – that pleasant, earthy scent that accompanies a storm's first raindrops – comes from.
Only clouds that are tall with big water drops can make rain, but they also stop most of the light, which makes them look grey. Marcella Cheng/The Conversation

Curious Kids: why does rain only come from grey clouds?

To answer this question from Fiona, age 6, we need to know some things about clouds and light.
Australia veered from very wet to very dry in a year of wide-ranging weather extremes. AAP Image/Mal Fairclough

Australia’s climate in 2017: a warm year, with a wet start and finish

Last year saw plenty of warm weather around the country, but other notable events included dry months in the southeast, some very cold winter nights, and record-warm dry season days in the north.

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