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Rain Jackets, Explained

For an incredibly simple concept — keeping you dry — rain jackets have involved into awfully complicated products. Air flow rates, water pressure resistance, durable water repellent coatings, hard shells, soft shells… the list of technical terms goes on. Here’s what they all mean, and how you can use them to find the best jacket for you.


Watch A Week Of Rain And Snow Across The World

The Global Precipitation Measurement Core Observatory has been up and running for a little over a year now, and the joint NASA-Japan mission is starting to yield some (totally awesome) results.


What High-Speed Cameras Can Tell Us About The Smell Of Rain 

That lovely, earthy smell after the rain has a name: petrichor. Exactly what causes petrichor, however, is unknown. Armed with high-speed cameras, MIT scientists have found that the interface where raindrop hits earth is a little more complicated than you might expect.


What Causes The Smell After It Rains?

There are three primary sources of smells that commonly occur after rain. The first, the “clean” smell, in particular after a heavy thunderstorm, is caused by ozone. Ozone (scientifically known as trioxygen due to the fact that it is comprised of three oxygen atoms) is notably pungent and has a very sharp smell that is often described as similar to that of chlorine.


The Tempescope Puts The Weather In A Box On Your Desk

Sure, you could just download a weather app to see what conditions are like outside your front door, but where’s the fun in that? Ken Kawamoto’s Tempescope actually creates rain, clouds and simulated lightning right inside your house. It’s the ultimate push notification.


Bad Mobile Phone Calls Could Actually Be Tracked To Detect Rainfall

Despite the many wonders of our modern mobile phones, using them to call a real live human can kind of suck. The sound is fuzzy, the calls drop randomly, and a simple rainstorm can make it all even worse. But there is surprising upside to all this: we can monitor the quality of mobile phone calls to track rain and floods in real time — especially in places like West Africa that lack traditional rain gauges.


The Sound Of Rain Made With Single Water Drops Sampled 10 Million Times

Yugo Nakamura is one of the most famous digital designers in the world. In his latest project, The Origin of the Sound of the Rain, he wanted to prove that a single drop of water sampled and reproduced a million times would actually sound like rain. And it really does.


These Silk Scarves Are Patterned With Real Raindrops

Depending on what you’re wearing, unexpected downpours can be real outfit ruiners. Rather than block the drops, Dutch designer Aliki van der Kruijs used them to make natural patterns on specially-treated silk scarves.


This Reflective Umbrella Surrounds You In A Super-Safe Halo Of Light

To me, whimsical umbrellas — you know, the kind printed with Starry Night or cats — have always seemed like a mockery of the rain-drenched commuter’s misery. But this reflective version actually makes practical sense, since it turns its owner into a glowing beacon of safety.


Could Fog Catchers Help Solve America's Drought Problem?

California’s running out of water. This year’s record-breaking drought — coming after two already dry years — has the state scrambling for the liquid stuff. Plans to seed clouds for extra snowfall are already in place. But do we really require storm clouds for water? Why not use fog?


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