Rain is, to this world, no less than a miracle, at best. Possibly, one of the best things god could’ve come up with. And the world celebrates it at all its best moments, be it as the background for a melodramatic movie scene or as a giant puddle of fun, rain makes its presence known. Just reminiscing the smell of rain touching the ground can flood you with many long last memories you didn’t know existed. From flimsy paper boats to the grandeur of an orchestra of lightning and thunder, the magic of rain never fails to enchant everyone. But have you ever wondered where does rain come from and what about cloudless rain? Though it sounds baffling at the surface level, the truth is it’s the wind running the show of how to create a cloudless rain. Rain without clouds is a puzzling experience, but not when you have a plausible explanation. But what if it doesn’t rain? Will life on earth have the capacity to face a world without rainwater? Never worry. We will clarify all your doubts in this article.
1. What is Rain Water Called?
Rainwater is a relatively clean water source the earth receives through the water cycle. It results from the precipitation of stored water droplets in the clouds that get heavier over time and shower down. Rainfall is the resultant product (water) we get after rain. Now, this raises the question: where does rain come from? (See How can Reduced Precipitation lead to Limited Water?)
2. Where does Rain Come from Originally?
The rain mainly originates or comes from the ocean. The journey that rain takes to come to earth is called the water cycle. This is a circular process set in an infinite loop. It all starts with the sun.
It is a sunny day; the next thing you know, you see dark clouds looming overhead, followed by a torrential downpour of rain. It all sounds connected. You’re right. They are connected. So, where does rain come from? Well, the process by which rain is originated is given below:
- Sunlight lasts an average of about 12 hours, which can increase and decrease on a seasonal basis. These extended hours of the sun heat the surface of the water bodies, which in turn becomes vapor.
- The water vapor then evaporates, rises to the atmosphere, and gets frozen into tiny water droplets.
- These then bloom into magnificent clouds.
- Over time, these water droplets grow and get heavier and have nowhere to go except down, leading to rainfall.
Originally rain comes mostly from oceans, and other water bodies play their part. This would have answered your question: where does rain come from?
3. What is Rain Made of?
Rain is made of droplets going through an icy midlife crisis in the atmosphere and falling back to earth, having spent being a cloud. Seems relatable, right? But let’s talk science now. What is rain really made of? Scientists say that rain has particular microscopic material in the earth’s atmosphere called CCN (Cloud Condensation Nuclei). These nuclei can be a piece of matter, ranging from dust, salt, smoke, or pollutants.
The water vapor that arises begins to condense around these CNN and then proceeds to be joined by other water droplets. It’s some chain reaction where one water droplet merges with another droplet and subsequently gets bigger. All this collected is what forms rainwater. This is where acid rain comes into play when water droplets precipitate around a pollutant such as sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide. This makes the water droplet acidic and toxic. (See What are the Benefits of Rain?)
4. How was Rain Made?
Rain was and is made through the water cycle. So, exactly where does rain come from? It is literally what its name implies. The water cycle is the cycle that water goes through. If each raindrop could talk, it would easily write a bestselling travel journal. Water in 3 different phases (solid, liquid, and gas) moves through the atmosphere, which you call transportation. The earth’s complex ecosystem has a say in the water cycle too.
- Evaporation of water from the earth’s surface.
- Condensation in water droplets forms clouds rains down as a result of precipitation.
- Water evaporates from the leaves and plants (transpiration).
- Solid ice also gives out evaporated water (sublimation).
All these, through a cascade of events, answer where does rain come from.
5. What is the Main Source of Rain Water?
Where does rain come from? The main source of rain would be the most significant accumulation of water on earth, the oceans, and the seas. Almost 71 percent of the face of the world constitutes water. And the oceans claim a whopping 96.5% of our planet’s water.
With these facts in mind, it is easier to say that the wind and the clouds bring a large percentage of water vapor from these sources. However, these being the main source, other water bodies also contribute. (See What is the Purest Form of Water?)
6. Can it Rain without Clouds?
Yes, it can. Most of us are accustomed to associating rain with a big, shadowy cloud overhead. Have you heard of sun showers? Not a single cloud is visible, but it’s raining? Relax, it’s not raining from the sun, and it’s not an abnormal phenomenon; it’s just the cloud systems and wind currents are having a field day. The experience we get as rain without clouds is called sun showers. This extraordinary event is attributed to the efficiently dispersing clouds and a strong windspeed.
- Time plays a pivotal role in forming seemingly cloudless rain in these instances. It takes ample time for the raindrops to reach earth. Now, imagine this rain originating from a less humid cloud dispersing quickly. So, by the time rain reaches you, the cloud has vanished into thin air, having given away all its water vapor. This is why it’s so perplexing to feel the rain, yet not a single cloud to explain the event.
- Another possibility is the wind current. These strong winds tend to blow away the rain showers long distances away from the lands beneath the cloud formation. This can cause a rain shower in a place with no corresponding clouds in the sky. This is achieved only when there is a coincidental occurrence of prevailing solid wind currents and rain showers.
7. Does Water Come from Rain?
Yes. Rain, snow, and hail are all acts of water released from the clouds in the earth’s atmosphere. Having the reputation of being the purest water source, rainwater was nicknamed the primary water source. It plays a significant role and proves to be life-sustaining to human beings and other living organisms, as rainwater is one of the crucial sources of fresh water on earth. This process of collecting and storing water is called rainwater harvesting. (See How do the Hydrosphere and Biosphere Interact with Each Other?)
8. Can you Drink Rain Water?
Yes and no. It isn’t precisely unhealthy to drink rain water. In some communities worldwide, rainwater is the primary source of water supply. It even constitutes their drinking water. But it does depend a lot on environmental and physical factors.
- Polluted environmental conditions can turn pure rainwater into a health-alarming aspect known as acid rain.
- There are instances when the rainwater is subject to contamination by harmful disease-causing bacteria, viruses, etc., and this can be detrimental to the humans who consume it.
- Rainwater can also chance upon heavy metal contamination; thus, collecting and using such water is not recommended.
9. Why do you Need Rain?
After we discuss rain without clouds and where does rain come from, there is another crucial notion to consider. It now comes down to the why? The earth’s ecosystem and environment-specific, inherently diverse biota need a stable system that sustains them. The earth’s water cycle is one such system that has cemented its importance in the ecosystem. The primary reasons why we need rain are:
- As it’s already been implied, rain is a significant factor in the availability of fresh water.
- Water is the source of life, and rain might be the perpetrator that robs this gift for you and makes it accessible, indifferent of where you might be.
- The need for rain is inevitable, as it recharges the groundwater levels, fills underground aquifers and other major water bodies, and quenches the thirst of all plants and animals alike.
10. What will happen if it doesn’t Rain?
It can lead to a water shortage. The groundwater levels will go below accessible limits, and all living beings who depend on the water will face the consequences of a drought-ridden world.
If rain fails to arrive, the animals that await the arrival of lush green grass will be left with nothing to live off, as the absence of monsoon means death in the wild. Entire ecosystems would fall apart. The premise upon which our earth sits, as a self-sustaining planet, will be left with a void that can only be filled with the arrival of rain. (Also read How Fast does Rain melt Snow?)