- Every minute of every day, 1 billion tons of rain falls on the Earth
- The amount of water held in the atmosphere at any time is sufficient to produce about 2.5cm (1 inch) of rain over the surface of the Earth
- The technical name for rain is precipitation. As well as rain, precipitation includes snow, sleet & hail
- There are 3 types of rainfall: convection, frontal & relief
- The minimum altitude of rain clouds is 1,200 metres – and they can be found as high as 10,000 metres.
- A droplet of water will stay in the Earth’s atmosphere for about 10 days
- Rain drops do not fall in a tear drop shape, they originally fail in the shape of a flat oval
- In Canada, the wettest places are: 1) Abottsford, BC 2) St. John’s, NFLD
- Abottsford, BC also tops the list in Canada for the rainiest: 174 days annually. If we consider snow, St. John’s NFLD heads up the list with 212 days annually.
Weathervanes get their name from the Old English fane, which means flag or banner. Weathervanes have a simple design, but in order to function, they must be perfectly balances on their rotating axis. they also need an unequal area on each side that the wind can blow against. Additionally, weathervanes must be located on the highest point of a structure, and away from other tall buildings or structures that may affect wind direction.
As the weathervane spins to reduce the force of the wind on its surface, the end with the least surface area turns into the wind, and thus indicates the wind direction. The world’s largest weathervane is located on the shore of White Lake in Michigan. It stands 14 metres (48 feet) tall and sports 8 metre (26 foot) long arrow that points in the direction of the wind.
Ever wonder why so many weather vanes are in the shape of a rooster? In the ninth century, Pope Nicholas (I) ordered that weather vanes in the form of a cockerel be placed on all churches and abbeys as a symbol to remind Christians of Peter’s betrayal of Christ. While these cockerels were at first not intended as weathervanes, they were eventually combined with the weathervanes that already adorned many church steeples.
Believe it or not, the umbrella was not invented to combat rainy weather. The word umbrella comes from the Latin root umbra, meaning shade or shadow. Umbrellas were first used for protection from the sun.
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