What Does Rain Smell Like? is a fascinating book to answer all your questions on the liquid that falls from the sky. Learn how climate change is affecting our weather and how rainbows are formed. Why doesn’t rain fall all at once, and can technology change the track of a hurricane? And what’s the weather like on other planets. Did you know that it takes 200 hours for a cloud droplet to land on the ground? Or that rainbows don’t actually exist?
The authors are both meterologists. Simon King presents on BBC news and previously worked for the Met Office and forecasting units with the Royal Air Force. Clare Nasir was trained by the Met Office and also has an MSc in Oceanography and currently presents Channel 5 News weather.
fun facts about the weather
Did you think if cows sit down, it’s going to rain? Meteorologists say it’s a myth. There is no truth in it – the cows are likely just having a rest!
- Spring (20 March) is when the Atlantic transfers less heat and moisture to the atmosphere, due to losing heat during winter. The sun is ‘high in the sky’ so it can be warm during the day but cool at night, due to moderating ocean temperatures.
- Summer (when the northern hemisphere tilts towards the sun) includes 21 June (summer solstice) when the sun is at its highest point in the sky). This day is celebrated each year at ancient burial ground Stonehenge (Wiltshire). Thunderstorms are frequent here in summer, caused by rising air and moisture.
- Autumn means falling temperatures so trees lose chlorophyll turning leaves red and brown (losing them entirely apart from evergreen trees). Beginning around 22 September, the equinox means days and nights of equal length. Days get shorter and wildlife store up food, with dormice, hedgehogs and bats preparing for hibernation.
- Winter is the coldest season with short days, a time for quiet contemplation and sleep. In colder climates than ours, Scandinavian reindeer have adapted their retinas to see in the dark. Some humans living there also do this, but are prone to a condition when they start talking complete gibberish, due to lack of vitamin D.
Those little green insects you see are crickets. If you hear one on a summer evening, know they chirp in time with the air temperature. So just count how many chirps they do in 25 seconds. Divide by 3 and add 4, and it gives you the correct Celsius temperature!