The Weather Page

March 15, 2007|By FRANK ROYLANCE | FRANK ROYLANCE,Sun Reporter -- Weather Blogger

Denny Veach writes from Eldersburg: "Can you explain why raindrops come in various sizes?" Like people, raindrop size is a mix of nature and nurture. All raindrops begin as melted snowflakes, or water vapor condensed onto microscopic "seed" particles of dust, salt or smoke. The smallest, at 0.2 mm, may bump into others, "coalescing" and growing larger. The biggest, about 4 mm, will split as they fall. Storm turbulence and updrafts, as in thunderstorms, may increase coalescence, creating more big drops than a calm drizzle.

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