What causes different sizes of raindrops?


What causes different sizes of raindrops?

In: Chemistry


Raindrop shape is dependent on gravity force, the density of air (atmospheric pressure), the surface tension of water and wind.

Gravity and the density are almost constant.

So the main variables that influence the shape are wind and temperature (influences slightly viscosity thereby surface tension).

the type of weather producing them has a big impact. convection and updraft condensation can produce higher turbulence which can combine moisture faster as it precipitates, and can also create higher air resistance via lift, keeping the moisture aloft longer. snow and hail sizes are due to the same phenomenon, but typically occurring at much colder temperatures. typically the more violent the storm, the larger the precipitation can be

the more stratus (low, flat) clouds tend to precipitate much less violently and over a longer period of time, allowing smaller drops to condense and fall without a lot of collisions with other drops or updraft to keep them in the air longer. this is where we get drizzle type rain