Breakdown: Why raindrops are not actually tear-drop shaped

Breakdown: Why raindrops are not actually tear-drop shaped

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - You have probably seen them in paintings, drops of rain falling from clouds in the shape of teardrops. What if I told you that is not entirely accurate? In this episode of the Breakdown, we will explain the science as to why raindrops are not in the shape of a teardrop.

When moisture falls from clouds, they are spherically shaped raindrops. As the raindrop grows and they fall, drag force increases against the drop.

Raindrop Sizes
Raindrop Sizes (NOAA)

This means the bottom of the droplet becomes flatter. As the rain drop grows large enough, the drag force against the drop will become large enough to split the raindrop.

This in turn creates smaller droplets that falls to earth, as a spherical droplet with a flattened bottom.

Thus, giving its shape, which is not shaped like a tear drop, contrary to what some medium forms interpret.

Copyright 2018 WMC. All rights reserved.