Q:

Where does rain come from?

A:

Quick Answer

Rain and other forms of precipitation fall from the clouds. When warm air passes over a body of water, it causes the water to evaporate. Once the water rises high enough, it clumps with other water vapor and becomes a cloud. The air cannot hold an infinite quantity of water, so when the amount of water present in the cloud exceeds the air’s ability to hold it, the water falls in droplets as rain.

Know More
Where does rain come from?
Credit: Martin Barraud Caiaimage Getty Images

Full Answer

On earth, water flows in a constant cycle and none is ever truly lost. The water that falls out of the clouds as rain and strikes the earth flows downhill until it reaches an ocean or lake. Warm air moving over the water will absorb the water, carrying it high into the atmosphere. Because some forms of pollution bond with water, the pollutants can end up in the clouds where it will eventually rain down as polluted water. This can exacerbate the problem of pollution as the rain spreads it to a large area.

Not all clouds are the same, and some types are more likely to produce rain than others. Usually, clouds that produce rain have the term “nimbus” in their name, such as cumulonimbus clouds, which produce thunderstorms.

Learn more about Rain

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What causes a drought?

    A:

    Droughts are caused by changes in land and sea surface temperatures, atmospheric circulation patterns and soil moisture content. A change in any one of these factors sets up a cyclical chain of events that can result in extreme climate conditions such as drought.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is a convectional rainfall diagram?

    A:

    A convectional rainfall diagram gives a visual representation of the process through which atmosphere produces convectional rain. The diagram starts with warming land, which heats the air above it and causes the air to expand and rise. Clouds form and rain falls as the air condenses and cools.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is orographic rainfall?

    A:

    Orographic rainfall is rain that is produced from the lifting of moist air over a mountain. The moist air rises and cools, producing orographic clouds, which are the source of the rain. Most orographic rain falls upwind of the mountain range, with some also falling a short distance downwind. This process can produce any type of precipitation, including snow, sleet, hail or freezing drizzle.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What causes fog to form?

    A:

    Fog forms when water droplets condense to form fog close to the ground. The water droplets are formed when water vapor bonds with condensation nuclei. Water evaporation can occur from bodies of water, wind, precipitation and atmospheric heating.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore