- Published: 24 September 2009
- Hits: 2697
Paul Colby, age 11, of Salt Lake City for his question!
Does hail fall faster than rain?
Stormy raindrops crash on the hard ground and burst into jets of water. Hailstones hammer through the trees, tearing leaves and cracking twigs as they fall. Such downpours seem to be falling at a great rate, Some mighty force seems to be tossing them out of the sky, At other times, the raindrops fall with a gentle patter and even hailstones drop with soft thuds.
The speed of falling rain and hail varies. Sometimes the downpour gathers force and power as it speeds through the air. Sometimes the air wafts it down and puts it gently on the ground. The different speeds of falling depend upon weather conditions, the size of the drops or pellet s temperature and air pressure, The faster the downpour falls, the harder it hits the ground.
An inch of rain may pour down in half an hour or sprinkle through a day and night. Over one acre, 113 tons of water has fallen from the clouds with every inch of rainfall. Almost six billion tons of water fall with every inch of water that blankets the state of Utah. Luckily for us, the weather has ways of letting down those terrific weights gently.
There are rules for figuring the speed of falling bodies. They can be applied to falling stones, busted airplanes, parachutes and raindrops, A falling body gathers speed as it drops. It accelerates and gains momentum until it reaches a certain speed called its terminal velocity. In the first second it drops 16 feet and it accelerates 32 feet per second thereafter. But air resists being pushed by falling bodies. It slows up the speed and levels off the acceleration when air pressure equals the weight of the falling body,
Misty clouds of water droplets are held aloft by rising air currents and wafted along by the breezes. But, sooner or laters every cloud must return its moisture to the earth. Its droplets gel into raindrops, snow or hail ‑ larger bodies too heavy to ride on air pressure. The updraft of air from below may be