Saturday, July 17, 2004

Monster Raindrops

BBC - Scientists have observed the biggest raindrops recorded on Earth - which may be a whopping 1cm in size. The monster water droplets were observed from the air, by atmospheric experts studying clouds. They were recorded over Brazil and the Marshall Islands, a group of atolls and reefs in the central Pacific Ocean.

Professor Hobbs and colleague Arthur Rangno, of the University of Washington, US, recorded the droplets as being about 8.8mm and possibly as large as 1cm. He speculated that some of these giant droplets even reach the ground. Average drops of rain are between 1 and 2mm in diameter. The previous largest raindrops recorded - 8mm wide over Hawaii - were reported by researchers in 1986. Images of the raindrops were taken by a laser instrument on a research plane that flew through cumulus congestus clouds spawned by burning forest in Brazil's Amazon and in clean marine air over the Marshall Islands.


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