Cloud Depth

Not only are suitable nuclei needed for raindrops to form, there must also be enough depth of cloud to ensure that falling drops collide with sufficient cloud droplets to grow to raindrop size. The necessary depth depends on the strength of the updraught; a speed of 1 m/s necessitates a cloud 1,500 m deep to allow time for drops to become heavy enough to descend against the rising air, but 5 m/s needs two or three times the depth. So a strong updraught postpones precipitation from a cloud, but means larger drops once rain starts.

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