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Monday 29th August 2016
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Why do some clouds rain more than others?


We know that rain comes because water is sucked into the air as clouds. But what makes some clouds rain more than others?
Ray, Clerkenwell


** Definitive **
Name: Roger, Bromley
Qualification: Merchant navy navigation officer
Answer: It’s to do with adiabatic lapse rates. Or in English, when you look out on a dull, grey day and the whole sky is full of cloud, but it’s not raining, what you have is essentially huge flat clouds with no depth. On a day where there is a thunderstorm, the cloud may extend tens of thousands of feed into the air. It’s like having a water tank. The cumulus clouds for storms contain masses of water and it can rain very hard. Rain from flat stratus clouds, if tends to be drizzly light rain.

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