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F2011GEOG1112PrecipitationLecture copy

F2011GEOG1112PrecipitationLecture copy - 1 Precipitation...

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1 Precipitation “Told to equate Achievement with Pain I took their top prize and paid them back with rain .” The Go-Betweens “Clouds” (1988)
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2 PRECIPITATION IS W EIRD ! You’d think precipitation would just be water falling out of the sky. It’s more complicated than that, because of water’s unique chemical properties. x Simple notion: vapor condenses into a droplet, more condensation onto that droplet, droplet gets big and heavy enough to fall out of the sky x Simple notion is WRONG! H 2 O never that easy! x Pure condensation would take waaay too long a week to make a raindrop! x Furthermore, water droplets are tricky. They can stay in the liquid state down to as low as -40 q C, where they are “supercooled” and freeze on contact with other objects. x So, how do we get precipitation? Depends on the phase of water in the cloud. “Warm” clouds have only liquid water, “cold” clouds have both water and ice crystals present.
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