why does it rain so much in spring
Every spring you will hear children chanting that old nursery rhyme, Rain, rain, go away. Come again another day. Spring is well known for its April showers and has ruined more than its share of picnics. It is important to keep your ears on the weather report when you plan outdoor events during this season, but have you ever wondered why it rains so much in the spring? There is a definite reason that spring is known as the rainy season in the United States. Let s take a little journey into the interesting world of science. Remember elementary school? During science class, you studied the water cycle. Water was evaporated and gathered in the clouds until the clouds became too heavy to hold it. Rain, sleet or snow would fall from the clouds and end up on earth again. You may have even created a terrarium to demonstrate the principle.
The basics of how rain is formed are still the same as they were in elementary school. The water droplets evaporate and become ice particles that combine together in the clouds. When updrafts in the clouds become strong enough, there is a good chance the precipitation will fall as rain from the clouds. When the conditions are right and the weather is warm enough, it rains. While it can rain during any season of the year, there is one time of year that seems to offer more rain than any other in the United States. Spring is the time of year when temperatures from Canada in the north are still cold and dry while temperatures from the southern states are warm and humid. When the hot and cold air masses meet, the combination of temperatures causes the to air rise and it creates a strong cold front, which can often include thunderstorms.
These thunderstorms provide rain. They produce enough rain to produce the May flowers from the verse April showers bring May flowers! The spring weather fronts change as the air becomes warmer. As summer approaches, the necessary weather conditions do not exist as frequently and the rainy season turns into an occasional rain storm. The same effects happen every year. Prepare yourself for the rains of spring by purchasing a good umbrella, boots and rain coat. When the rain hits, you ll be singing in the rain!
Spring is the rainiest season of the year as measured by the number of days with precipitation. During spring, the best precipitation dynamics of winter and summer converge. In the upper atmosphere, jet streams remain strong and the air holds on to some winter chill.
At the surface, sunlight is strong, warming the ground, water and lower atmosphere. Warm, moist air is less dense than cold dry air, causing it to rise into the colder upper atmosphere, squeezing out moisture into precipitation, not just in Chicago, but across most of the northern hemisphere. Not surprisingly, this abundance of atmospheric energy and moisture is why the peak of the severe weather season occurs in spring. Specifically for Chicago, April is the the rainiest month, averaging 12. 6 days of measurable precipitation, followed closely by March with 12. 4 days. Tom Skilling is chief meteorologist at WGN-TV. His weather forecasts can be seen Monday through Friday on WGN News at noon and 9 p. m. ASK TOM WHY, 2501 Bradley Place, Chicago, Il. 60618 e-mail:asktomwhy@tribune. com
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