Tuesday, 13 August 2013


We all know that we need rain but when it comes its depressing, often lasting many hours as it has recently in Shetland.

But just think , the photo below shows one drop of water which i managed to photograph and as it bounces back off the water surface, due tension on the water surface it has become diamond shaped. So think of this - when it rains you are getting showered with diamonds !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
                                                                               Showers of diamond rain drops

We often refer to the rain as it is raining buckets or like cats and dogs, but this photo I am sure is it is raining in sheets . Looking over towards Sandwick, I was in the dry area watching the rain spread across. How many time does this happen, I always remember as a child standing on one side of the pavement in the sun , while people over the other side of the road were running to take shelter.
                                                                                  Sheets of rain in Sandwick

Rain droplets range in size from 0.9- 9 millimetres which tend to break up as they drop. Small drops are call cloud droplets and there shape is spherical , as the droplet increases size it become more oblate with the largest part facing the wind stream. Large droplets become increasingly flattened at the base, very large one look like parachutes.The largest rain droplets recorded on earth occurred in Brazil in 2004 when the measured 10 millimetres in diameter.
                                               Very rarely do we see a few raindrops, they usually come in their millions
                                                                                     Kingfisher caught in a rain drop

Intensity and duration in rainfall are usually inversely related ie: heavy intense rainfall is usually short lived, but short duration and intensity are long lived. When the thunder clouds form , these  are called -cumulonimbus.
              Ireland on the west side of the mainland

In  Shetland the average rainfall is 1003mm (39.5 inches), lower than many western parts of Britain and less than a quarter of the rainfall experienced in Fort William. Almost 3/4 of the annual rainfall comes in winter with April - September the drier months

Our friend Maurice Smith calculated the following

Just been doin a quick calculation. Wikipedia quotes surface area of Shetland as 1,466 square km. I reckon an inch of rainfall would put down about 36,650,000 tonnes of water on da Auld Rock. Amazin what raincloods will hadd up till dey get weary!

On Titan, Saturn's largest moon . infrequent methane rain is thought to carve the moon's surface channels

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