From rain to flood

Extreme weather events such as thunderstorms, heavy rainfall and resulting floods, influence Earth and environmental systems in the long term. To study the impacts of hydrological extremes holistically—from precipitation ...

NASA sees strong storms in developing gulf system 91L

NASA's Aqua satellite used infrared light to analyze the strength of storms in the developing low pressure area designated as System 91L is it moved through the Gulf of Campeche just north of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula.

Cities living with a strong chance of rain

Heavy rain can overwhelm municipal infrastructure and lead to flooding that can threaten lives and property. The U.S. alone spends millions - and sometimes billions - of dollars per year on flood recovery, and more is spent ...

NASA finds tropical cyclone Ann over the great barrier reef

Australia's world-famous Great Barrier Reef is located in the Coral Sea, east of Queensland and on May 14, Tropical Cyclone Ann was moving over it. From their orbit in space, NASA's Terra and Aqua satellites passed over the ...

NASA reveals heavy rainfall in Tropical Cyclone Fani

Satellite data revealed heavy rainfall in powerful Tropical Cyclone Fani before it made landfall in northeastern India. Fani brought that soaking rain to the region and continues to drop heavy rainfall on May 3, as it moves ...

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Rain

Rain is liquid precipitation. On Earth, it is the condensation of atmospheric water vapor into drops heavy enough to fall, often making it to the surface. Rain is the primary source of fresh water for most areas of the world, providing suitable conditions for diverse ecosystems, as well as water for hydroelectric power plants and crop irrigation. However, not all rain reaches the surface; some evaporates while falling through dry air. This is called virga, a phenomenon often seen in hot, dry desert regions. The METAR code for rain is RA.

Rain is also known or suspected on other worlds. On Titan, Saturn's largest moon, infrequent methane rain is thought to carve the moon's numerous surface channels. On Venus, sulfuric acid virga evaporates 25 km from the surface. There is likely to be rain of various compositions in the upper atmospheres of the gas giants, as well as precipitation of liquid neon and helium in the deep atmospheres.

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