Ten stunning facts about rain to pour over

Heavy rain and strong winds are forecast to continue soaking large swathes of Britain overnight Wednesday into Thursday, along with snow in Scotland.

Several severe weather warnings are in place as the unsettled conditions dominate the UK weather front due to a deep area of low pressure hoovering over the country.

And with forecasters now indicating more unstable weather is on the way this week, it looks like the rain is here to stay – but what exactly is rain, why does it smell and how much does it weigh?

Here’s a downpour of 10 surprising facts about rain.

1. ‘Phantom rain’:

Not all rain drops that fall from the sky reach the ground. Under specific conditions, sometimes rain can fall but never touch Earth. This occurs when rain falling from a cloud evaporates or sublimes as it draws closer to Earth’s surface.

When this happens, it forms what is known as ‘Virga Clouds’; a tail or wisp extending from a cloud in a downwards position. Generally, these are seen to extend from Cirrocumulus, Altocumulus, Altostratus, Nimbostratus, Stratocumulus, Cumulus or Cumulonimbus clouds. 2. Rain has a smell:

When raindrops fall on clay or dusty soils, they trap small air bubbles on the surface which raise upward and burst out of the droplet. This then produces pockets of scent into the air where they are then carried by wind.

This is what causes the familiar smell of rain, which is called ‘Petrichor’.

3. Shape of a raindrop:

Raindrops are usually represented in the shape of a teardrop, but this is not true in reality.

When raindrops first form high up in the atmosphere, they take on a spherical shape as the water molecules bind together held by surface tension.

As they begin to fall their shape changes, while air resistance causes the bottom of the drop to flatten and curve resembling the shape of a jelly bean.

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