How a downpour forms

How a downpour forms


Downpour is a heavy torrential rain. In this new lesson of the Meteorological Textbook (WMT) and newsletter for better weather forecasting you will learn more about what downpour is and how it works.

Let`s review the cumulonimbus clouds — they can still be called thunderclouds or simply clouds. Heated at the surface of the earth, the air becomes lighter and rises. While rising, the air cools, then it is replaced by new warm air.

If the air is very hot and contains a lot of moisture, then when it rises, it rises to a considerable height, since it remains warmer than the environment for a long time. In addition, new air near the ground heats up, rises and feeds this process. These are the «сlouds with vertical growth».

Vertical development clouds

Cloud with vertical growth

As a rule, warm humid air can rise so high it reaches a height where the temperature is much lower than 0 degrees. Drops that appear during the condensation process freeze and become ice crystals. These crystals grow until they become so large that under the force of their own gravity they start to fall down.

The crystals fall and form layers where the air temperature is warmer — they thaw and turn into raindrops. And we get a shower. This often happens in the summer on sunny days, when there are nearby sources of moisture: moist soil, forests, ponds.

The more the cloud's height, the more likely there will be rain, hail, thunderstorms, and squalls.


Text: team

Cover photo: Unsplash

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