We have all been told since childhood that no two snowflakes are alike (although there are a relatively small number of basic snow crystal patterns).

But have you ever thought about differences between raindrops?

Some are large and some are small. Droplets smaller than about half a millimeter in diameter either remain suspended in the air (mist) or fall slowly and noiselessly to the ground (drizzle). Raindrops approaching about four millimeters in diameter are broken in two by air resistance on their way down. So raindrops are between half a millimeter and four millimeters in diameter.

The largest raindrops are in thunderstorms with strong updrafts which can keep the drops elevated longer, allowing them to keep growing. We have also been told since childhood that raindrops are tear-shaped, bit they are not. Surface tension causes falling raindrops to maintain an almost spherical shape. Research has revealed that raindrops are disappointingly round.

WDAY logo
listen live
watch live