Articles on Rain

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They may look comfy to sit on but you’d plummet through and hit the ground. Sam Schooler/Unsplash

What would it feel like to touch a cloud?

You might have already felt what it would be like inside a cloud made of condensed water vapor.
Rescue workers sift through debris after a mudslide that destroyed three homes on a hillside in Sausalito, Calif., Feb. 14, 2019, during an atmospheric river storm. AP Photo/Michael Short

Atmospheric river storms can drive costly flooding – and climate change is making them stronger

Earth's biggest rivers are streams of warm water vapor in the atmosphere that can cause huge rain and snowfall over land. Climate change is making them longer, wetter and stronger.
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.

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