Some Rain Falls at Super-Terminal Speeds

It turns out we haven't given rain drops enough credit. New research shows that 30 to 60 percent of rain drops that are .3 mm fall at “super-terminal” speeds. That means they drop at speeds 30 percent faster than their terminal velocity. Researchers studied over 1.5 million raindrops during six different storms over a five-month period at a site near Charleston, South Carolina. The researchers aren't sure why these drops fall so much faster than expected, but one possible explanation is that they are part of larger drops that have broken apart midair. If that's the case, rain drops disintegrate and far more often than previously anticipated. And before you think this new data is just a few drops in the bucket, the research could hold the key to better predicting erosion damage.