The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: How long can it rain for?  (Read 5665 times)

Herman Melville

  • Guest
How long can it rain for?
« on: 17/07/2009 12:13:13 »
There's only a finite amount of water in any one place. What's the longest it can rain for?


 

paul.fr

  • Guest
How long can it rain for?
« Reply #1 on: 17/07/2009 14:35:36 »
Not really, it depends on what air masses you have and where they are feeding the moisture from. but the longest period of sustained rainfall in the UK was 59 hours from the 13th to the 15th of june in 1903.

Edit:
Forgot to answer the question!

Depending on where and what your air masses are, and the air flow, there is no reason why it can not rain indefinately.
« Last Edit: 17/07/2009 14:48:47 by Paul. »
 

Offline Mazurka

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 510
    • View Profile
How long can it rain for?
« Reply #2 on: 17/07/2009 15:03:01 »
Very topical considering it chucked it down on St Swithins day (15 July)

Anecdotally 40 days ;)

'St. Swithin's day if thou dost rain, For forty days it will remain, St. Swithin's day if thou be fair, For forty days 'twill rain nae mair'
 

Offline LeeE

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 3382
    • View Profile
    • Spatial
How long can it rain for?
« Reply #3 on: 17/07/2009 16:04:53 »
Only peripherally related to the original question, but I was wondering recently how much freshwater there was in the atmosphere compared with that in lakes and rivers.  Any ideas anyone?
 

paul.fr

  • Guest
How long can it rain for?
« Reply #4 on: 17/07/2009 16:22:14 »
I posted this a year or two back. It's something like 1300 km3, or 0.001% of the total volume of water content. Accurate data can be found at the USGS website, try searching usgs watercycle atmosphere, should take you to the relevant page.
 

paul.fr

  • Guest
How long can it rain for?
« Reply #5 on: 17/07/2009 16:59:07 »
Found the page

Quote
There is always water in the atmosphere. Clouds are, of course, the most visible manifestation of atmospheric water, but even clear air contains waterówater in particles that are too small to be seen. One estimate of the volume of water in the atmosphere at any one time is about 3,100 cubic miles (mi3) or 12,900 cubic kilometers (km3). That may sound like a lot, but it is only about 0.001 percent of the total Earth's water volume of about 332,500,000 mi3 (1,385,000,000 km3), as shown in the table below. If all of the water in the atmosphere rained down at once, it would only cover the ground to a depth of 2.5 centimeters, about 1 inch.

http://ga.water.usgs.gov/edu/watercycleatmosphere.html

 

Offline LeeE

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 3382
    • View Profile
    • Spatial
How long can it rain for?
« Reply #6 on: 17/07/2009 17:25:55 »
Thanks for the links.  So atmospheric water accounts for about 0.04% of all freshwater, compared with a total of around 0.266% held in lakes (0.26%) and rivers (0.006%).  This is a bit lower than I would have guessed, bearing in mind that the atmosphere covers the entire planet whereas lakes and rivers only occur on land.  I would never have guessed that > 30% was subterranean though.

Thanks again.
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

How long can it rain for?
« Reply #6 on: 17/07/2009 17:25:55 »

 

SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums
 
Login
Login with username, password and session length