Why is it hard to forecast showers?
August has been a showery month so far and it looks set to continue. Jay Wynne explains why forecasting showers presents such a challenge.Why are showers tricky to predict?
Sometimes it can be difficult to give specific times and locations with the weather. That is often the case with showers.
What we can say about the day is that we know the air will produce shower clouds and then some rain, but it can be very difficult to say it will rain on your garden at 3.15pm.
Another way of looking at it is to imagine a pot of water on the hob. We know that the water will boil and bubbles will form but exactly when and where, it is difficult to be precise.What's the difference between rain and showers?
There are, of course, different types of showers, ranging from light to heavy and thundery but they all produce rain. However, in the weather forecast there is a definite distinction between showers and rain.
When we talk of a rainy day, it is often something that will cover a large area and affect many people simultaneously and it will last for some time. Showers are more fleeting, they can last for just a couple of minutes and while it may be raining on your doorstep, just a short distance down the road it may be fine and sunny.And what about the clouds? What role do they play?
Cloud types are important too. Rain comes from layered cloud which can fill up the sky whereas showers come from cumulus clouds which are often well separated - hence sunshine and showers!