You can tell when rain is coming just by the smell The word for it is “petrichor.” It’s the name of an oil that’s released from Earth into the air before rain begins to fall. “Petrichor,” is used to describe the distinct scent of rain in the air. Or, to be more precise, it’s the name of an oil that’s released from the Earth into the … Continue reading What is the smell of rain?
Van Gogh clouds! Like breaking ocean waves. They are called Kelvin Helmholzt clouds, aka billow clouds or shear-gravity clouds It’s widely believed that these waves in the sky inspired the swirls in Van Gogh’s masterpiece Starry Night. Here’s a special kind of cloud known to scientists as a Kelvin Helmholtz cloud. These clouds look like breaking ocean waves, with the rolling eddies … Continue reading Clouds that look like ocean waves. What is it?
The word virga is derived from Latin meaning “twig” or “branch”. We’ve all seen virga, but maybe not known what it’s called. Virga is rain that evaporates before it hits the ground. It often appears in streaks or shafts extending from the bottoms of clouds. You often see virga over a desert, where low humidity and high temperatures can cause rain to evaporate shortly after … Continue reading Virga is rain that does not reach the ground