4 Things about Rain You May Not Have Known

Updated: May 20

"Rain rain go away, come again another day...", sounds like the start of a prolonged drought. But since we're on the subject of rain, how much does it weigh? What does raining cats and dogs actually mean? Here are those answers and a couple of extra questions that had me wondering:


1. It prefers Petite Rain over Light Rain, How much does it weigh?

An inch of rain can measure around 226,000 lbs in an acre of land. Every minute, one billion tons of rain falls on the earth. Each inch of rain is relatively heavy. One inch of rain on a square foot of land weighs 5.20 pounds. One inch of rain on one acre of land weighs 113.31 tons.




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2. How long does it take a raindrop to reach the ground?

Every rainy cloud differs.

But if, the height raindrops fall and size can differ. But following an average speed of 14mph and an average cloud height of 2,500 feet, it would take 2 minutes for a raindrop to reach the surface. Very small raindrops can take as long as seven minutes to reach the ground; while larger droplets can fall at speeds of 20mph.


3. There is an Actual Scent of Rain (not sold by Air Freshener Companies)

Petrichor is the earthy scent produced when rain falls on dry soil. The word is constructed from Greek petra, meaning “stone”, and ichor, the fluid that flows in the veins of the gods in Greek mythology.

When raindrops fall on clay or dusty soils, they trap small air bubbles on the surface which raise upward and burst out of the droplet. This then produces pockets of scent into the air where they are then carried by the wind.


4. Raining Cats and Dogs?

Odin, the Norse god of storms, was often pictured with dogs and wolves, which were symbols of wind. Witches, who supposedly rode their brooms during storms, were often pictured with black cats, which became signs of heavy rain for sailors. Therefore, “raining cats and dogs” may refer to a storm with wind (dogs) and heavy rain (cats).


“Cats and dogs” may come from the Greek expression cata doxa, which means “contrary to experience or belief.” If it is raining cats and dogs, it is raining unusually or unbelievably hard.


A false theory stated that cats and dogs used to cuddle into thatch roofs during storms and then be washed out during heavy rains. However, a properly maintained thatch roof is naturally water-resistant and slanted to allow water to run off. In order to slip off the roof, the animals would have to be lying on the outside—an unlikely place for an animal to seek shelter during a storm.

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