Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Drizzle Or Rain?

Well I love a rainy night
I love a rainy night
I love to hear the thunder
Watch the lightning
When it lights up the sky

I'm with unfortunately named Eddie Rabbit on this one because i also love a rainy night and i'd go even further and say i don't mind a rainy morning, afternoon or evening either which is handy because the weatherman has been telling us that the UK is in for a battering over the next few days.
An often mentioned quote is that the Inuit have 50 words for snow but as we are so often on the soggy end of the weather, we don't seem to have many words for rain.
The weathermen speak of drizzle, showers and light, moderate and severe downfalls but that's doesn't go very far in explaining the rain we can expect, especially when wind has the Beaufort Scale with its descriptions of smoke rising vertically on a calm day through a Fresh Breeze when small trees sway and a Hurricane where debris and unsecured objects are hurled about.
The MET Office classifies drizzle as rain-drops smaller than 0.6mm and anything larger is rain which is further split into Light, Moderate, Heavy and Violent.
All fine but measuring the size of a raindrop to see if it is 0.6mm or less isn't easy so we need a better system and the unofficial answer is to look at the puddles.
If the drops hitting the puddle make ripples it's drizzle but if it hits the puddles and makes a splash, it's heavier than 0.6mm and therefore rain. Drizzle makes it ripple but rain splashes again if you like. 
The larger the splash, the heavier the raindrop and up the scale we go from small splashes (light rain) to very large splashes (violent rain).
Not very scientific i agree but a damned sight easier than standing outside with a ruler.

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