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    submessenger's Avatar
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    5 Things You Didn't Know: Rain

    5 Things You Didn't Know About Rain


    1) Something cohesion something something surface tension. Yeah, ignore that. Here's what you didn't know - droplets of rain form because of the presence of microscopic dust in the atmosphere, which allows water vapor to condense around their nuclei, as it's said in scientific circles. Tiny specks of dirt, sea salt, pollen, and all manner of things that can be airborne (use your imagination) are generally responsible for what rain you get. Since those things get trapped in upper level winds, it's up to the rain to bring them back down to earth. You have been warned.


    2) Speaking of which, Cloud Seeding is a real thing, not just some X-File fantasy. It's been going on since the 1940's by governments and private industry. Basically, they fly up high and release plumes of dust or salts into the air to kickstart that condensation I mentioned, above. Acid rain, by the way, works the same way. But, as far as we know, that doesn't happen on purpose.


    3) That earthy smell when it starts to rain isn't the dust from cloud seeding (natural or artificial), though. Nor is it usually the smell of the dirt on the street and ground getting wet. It's technically called Petrichor, which is what scientists call "plant sweat," for lack of a better term, that gets activated from soil and natural surroundings upon first droplets falling from the sky.


    4) How many of you have had to drain a swimming pool when it rains really hard? Ever wonder how much water that is? Well, 1 inch of rainfall works out to be potentially thousands of gallons of water, depending on the footprint of your property. On that note, I lived on a small Caribbean island, for a while; our bathing water and flushing water was 100% stored rainfall. So, if you want to be a real environmentalist, think about installing a big tank to catch rainwater (check your local ordinances and building codes, first). Just remember that it's full of Saharan sand and possibly nuclear fallout, so don't drink it.


    5) The air is so thick you can cut it with a knife. Typically said on hot, humid days. What you probably didn't know, here, is that as the air temperature increases, it's able to sustain more water vapor. As air temperature decreases, it has to let go of excess water vapor. We see that many mornings and call it "dew," or "frost," depending when and where you live. When the 10 o'clock news reports humidity, it's talking about this exact phenomenon: relative humidity and dew point. As relative humidity reaches saturation with water vapor, it cannot hold on; the water vapor is deposited on surfaces (like the beer you pulled out of the fridge to keep you company while you pump down your overflowing swimming pool, or maybe a speck of dust at 30,000 feet). Note that being colder than the surrounding air isn't a requirement, but it certainly helps.



    Make sure to read Episode 1, and keep watching this forum for the next topic... As ever, please point out simple mistakes or factual errors.

  2. #2
    goodlun's Avatar
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    Something something about mountains


    Of the single rapier fight between valiant men, having both skill, he that is the best wrestler, or if neither of them can wrestle, the strongest man most commonly kills the other, or leaves him at his mercy.
    –George Silver, Paradoxes of Defence

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    Evergrey's Avatar
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    Speaks Softly's Avatar
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    Reminds me of Enigma
    The masters perfected Karate. What fool is there today that can step forward and perfect perfection -- From the introduction to the book "Shoto-Kan Karate-The Ultimate in Self-Defense" written by Peter Ventresca

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    What makes you think you know, what I do and do not know?

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    Evergrey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DCS View Post
    Those ladies could SING. Before you had to be 98 pounds to be a popular singing, and the fact that you couldn't sing was fixed in post production with autotuning.

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    Holy Moment's Avatar
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    ?



    ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Holy Moment View Post
    ?



    ?
    I just knew you couldn't resist...
    Quote Originally Posted by submessenger View Post
    the smell of the dirt on the street
    Now, all this thread needs is for your self-modeled protege to show up.

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    ChenPengFi's Avatar
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    Rain (or mist, dew etc for that matter) in Hawai'ian song and chant refers to sex!

    Mt Wai'ale'ale on Kauai is frequently noted as "The wettest spot on Earth" with an avg of over 400 in/year and a record of 683 in 1982.
    A few miles away in Waimea it's only about ~35 in/year.

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