Posted by: ktzefr | September 3, 2011

The Shape of Rain…

“In the drizzle…the birds sheer off abruptly, but return to their place in the sky, held there like children’s kites.”  ~ KPerryman, Bavaria, “Improvisation”

Raindrops & Windchimes; Photo:KFawcett


Today started out as one of those “maybe” days — maybe it’ll rain; maybe not.  It sprinkled; the skies clouded over; and then the sun came out. 

When you see raindrops illustrated — whether in a story book, a science book, or on the weather channel — they are always in the teardrop shape.  Pretty, but not accurate.  Raindrops start out round high in the atmosphere where the water collects in clouds.  As they fall the bottoms become flat and the tops dome-shaped.   They are anything but the classic tear shape.  Raindrops bump into and combine with others as they fall and get bigger and bigger until, around four millimeters in size, the high speed of falling pulls them apart again into a multitude of tiny drops.  You can follow a raindrop through the water cycle at the USGS site — Science for a Changing World.

With all the leaves still firmly intact on the trees my backyard friends stay dry in the drizzle.

Buzzy the squirrel enjoying his afternoon nap; Photo:KFawcett


Purple finch in the shade; Photo: KFawcett


Have a safe and happy holiday weekend!


  1. I love this post. I videotape rainstorms all of the time, even wrote a piece called “Rain” but I didn’t know the facts about the shape of a raindrop – thanks!

    • Thanks, Lynn. I also enjoyed the videotape of hummers on your blog.

  2. I love the photo of the wind chimes — good job!

    • Thanks, Kathy!

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