Weather

The Mystery of the Shape of Raindrops

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Raindrops on a window (Photo: Pixaby)

The Size and Shape of Raindrops

How many times have you seen a drawing of a raindrop as something that looks like a drip from a faucet? It's a common symbol that can be found everywhere, from children's books to lawn and garden logos. However, those drawings are  perpetuating a very common misconception, that raindrops are shaped like a teardrop.

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A very wrong, but frequently used, drawing of the shape of a raindrop (Image: Wiki Commons).

The way teardrops and faucet drips form is very different from how raindrops form, though some of the molecular principles are the same. Teardrops and faucet drips often fall from a short distance and they sometimes drizzle down a surface. Raindrops form high up in the clouds, under pressure from air, changing temperatures, cooling, and gravity.

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Weather Lab App Launches

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A screenshot of the Weather Lab app.

A Predictive Weather Modeling App for Students and Teachers

I usually don't mix my professional life with my personal blog, but I wanted to share with you a neat interactive weather app that I helped develop. It is a tool that can be useful for weatherphiles, teachers, and students. It is called the Weather Lab, an online and mobile application from the Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC) in association with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA). The Weather Lab helps students visualize how weather is formed though the complex interactions of ocean currents and air masses in North America.

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