Sunday, November 06, 2005

Does Thunder Make It Rain?

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Image: Water Droplets In Cloud Suspension

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Image: Shockwave from Sonic Boom Forces Droplets Closer

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Image: Water Droplets Condense

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Image: Water Droplets Condense

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Image Droplets Descend To Ground

This is all speculation on my part. I've noticed over the years that a sudden clap of thunder will be followed by a downfall of rain. I've seen this happen hundreds of times, and so there's no doubt in my mind as to the roll that thunder can play in helping to condense rain droplets in a thunderstorm.

For those of you still scratching your heads, let's try the Mr. Wizzard approach. I've noticed small scale, and reproducible condensation events which anyone can test at home. Try filling a styrofoam drinking cup with hot water. Place a see through drink cup lid on the drink cup. Wait until mist forms on the inside of the lid. Then move the drink cup slowly across the table. Make sure that the cup vibrates as you move it across the top of the table. Notice how large beads of water formed along the underside ot the drink cup lid?

Here's another simple Mr. Wizzard style proof of concept observation which you can make. After taking a shower, or bath notice how mist forms on the mirrors? If you have a medicine cabinet which has a mirror this will be easy to do. Leave the medicine cabinet open. Then after mist has formed close the medicine cabinet door. Notice how the mist forms beads across the surface of the mirror?

Vibrations cause the smaller beads of water to condesnse into larger beads of water, and visa versa, depending upon the frequency of the waveform.

Thunder creates shockwaves which spread out from its source - the lightning bolt. These shockwaves create ripples in the atmosphere. Water vapor is condensed within the trough of waves forming rain drops. The rain drops quickly grow in size, and gravity takes care of the rest.

Therefore, lightning via its role in the creation of sonic booms (i.e., thunder) plays an important, and virtually unmentioned role in precipitation.

Image Credit: All Images Created By JeromeProphet of Jerome, Illinois (Springfield, IL).


BlogFreeSpringfield said...

I'm embarrassed to tell you what I saw in that third image, but suffice to say old man Rorschach never had pictures that hot.

Interesting perspective on the effects of thunder on rain. It makes sense to me. Have you done any research to see if it checks out? I bet Flip Spiceland would know.

JeromeProphet said...

I wish I could see what you see.

Yes, I have a feeling Gus Gordon would want to weigh in on this subject.

I wonder if Gus Blogs?

Anonymous said...

I hope to god you've learned better in the last 2 or so years, Jerome.

It was retarded of you to say that thunder maybe an important unrecognized part of precipitation.
I don't know if it was just your wording or if you believe it.
Firstly, if thunder actually played an "important, and virtually unmentioned role in precipitation", my home state Tasmania would be screwed.
We get a couple of thunder storms a year in only one month of the year and last look I wasn't living in a desert.
Secondly, I have seen plenty of thunder storms that just make a lot of noise.
Thirdly, you could've googled it. Oh. Sorry. Wait. There aren't people dedicated to the weather and climate like meteorologists. I forgot. My bad.
Maybe it has an unmentioned role in precipitation because it's the other way around even!
Thunder and lighting is CAUSED by precipitation hence having those big ominous dark clouds before a storm. It's the friction of all those little beauties jumping around that makes the electricity.

Your methods and observations are basic and not thought through very far.
You should have researched FIRST before jumping to conclusions.
You badly need the Discovery Channel if you're making these kinds of mistakes. Hell even Mythbusters could help you with your scientific process.

As I said, I really hope you've learned better in the last 2 yearsish.

The thunder from your backside would precipitate more sense than your theory.


The Southern Skeptic

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