THE SHAPE OF RAINDROPS

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  • 1 Illinois State Water Survey
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Abstract

An investigation of the physical shape of raindrops using two cameras at right angles is described, and the results are tabulated and graphed. The data included measurements of 1783 raindrops of which 569 were classified as spherical, 496 as oblate, 331 as prolate, and 387 unclassified. The sizes measured ranged up to 6.4 mm equivalent spherical diameter. It is concluded that there is a mean shape which varies uniformly with the mass of the raindrop, but that this shape is the result of oscillation about the mean.

Abstract

An investigation of the physical shape of raindrops using two cameras at right angles is described, and the results are tabulated and graphed. The data included measurements of 1783 raindrops of which 569 were classified as spherical, 496 as oblate, 331 as prolate, and 387 unclassified. The sizes measured ranged up to 6.4 mm equivalent spherical diameter. It is concluded that there is a mean shape which varies uniformly with the mass of the raindrop, but that this shape is the result of oscillation about the mean.

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