What are types of rainfall?
Credit:Danielle ScottCC-BY-SA 2.0
Q:

What are types of rainfall?

A:

Quick Answer

Moisture precipitates out of the atmosphere primarily as three types of rain: convective, stratiform and orographic. In each case, warm, moist air is lifted up and suspended until it reaches saturation and then discharges its water content as rain.

 Know More

Full Answer

Convective rain is the simplest form, and it occurs mainly in tropical regions. In a convection system, water evaporates off of ocean and lake surfaces, rises through the air by simple convection and falls when the air is saturated. Convective fronts are usually localized and limited in their horizontal extent.

Stratiform rain results when a moist warm front encounters cooler, drier air. The cool air is denser than the warm front, so it subducts under the warm air and drives it to a higher altitude. Then, if conditions are right for precipitation, the warm mass discharges.

Orographic rain is driven by a process very similar to stratiform rain, but with the rain-laden clouds rising against mountains rather than sliding over cool air. A typical orographic rain begins over the ocean as a convection cell, moves toward land and is suddenly lifted high by a coastal range of mountains. Orographic systems usually drop their moisture soon after making landfall and rarely have the energy to penetrate deep inland. This deprives inland areas of rain and creates rain shadow deserts such as the Atacama.

Learn more about Atmosphere

Related Questions

  • Q:

    Why is air pressure different in the different layers of the atmosphere?

    A:

    According to Climate Education for K-12 from North Carolina State University, air pressure decreases as elevation increases in higher levels of the atmosphere. The atmosphere has four levels. From the closest level to the surface of the earth to the highest level, they are as follows: the troposphere, the stratosphere (where the ozone layer lies), the mesosphere and the thermosphere.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What process adds carbon to the atmosphere?

    A:

    The process of respiration adds carbon to the atmosphere. Respiration occurs in living organisms around the world, including plants and animals. It encompasses the process of breaking down organic molecules with carbon into smaller components, including carbon dioxide, which in turn releases into the atmosphere and surrounding environments.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Where do the temperature inversions occur in the atmosphere?

    A:

    In meteorology, temperature inversions occur in the layer of the atmosphere closest to the Earth's surface, known as the troposphere. Temperature inversions in the atmosphere occur when a cool layer of air close to the Earth's surface is covered by a warm layer above.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How does the hydrosphere affect the atmosphere?

    A:

    Evaporated water from the hydrosphere gets stored in the atmosphere, which later releases the water back to the surface of the Earth in the form of precipitation. Water evaporates in warm areas, and the water vapor rises up into the atmosphere. Once there, the water can travel great distances and eventually gets dumped back onto the Earth.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore