Here at the Umbrella Shop we spend so much time protecting ourselves from rain that we don’t really think about how it comes to be. We take rain for granted, but it nourishes the earth, grows our plants and replenishes our drinking water supplies. Like it or not, we seriously need rain.

Living in the Lower Mainland, we like to think we’re rain experts. It’s everywhere here, pelting the city all winter long and well into the spring too. Sometimes it feels like we never get a break.

But rain is a pretty spectacular beast, when you read about it. When moisture occurs in the air and upwards airstreams push the precipitation higher, poof, rain happens when gravity can’t hold it in the clouds any longer. Because we live in a mountainous area, we see a particularly large amount of rain when the fronts collide with air streams coming over and above the mountains. Conversely, the Okanagan is so darn desert-ish for the exact same reason. Mountains.

The more we got to thinking about rain, the more we wanted to scrounge up some interesting facts. Here are a few to get your brain going the next time you pull out your umbrella.

-You’d think the desert is the driest place on earth but nope! It’s Antarctica, with just 6 inches of snow or rain a year.

-The rainiest place on earth is Columbia. (We know. You thought it was Vancouver.)

-You can tell it will rain if you see cumulonimbus cloud (big, puffy and flat on top).

-Rain can fall up to 22 miles per hour. Ouch!

-On Venus it rains sulfuric acid. Suddenly a little water isn’t feeling so bad, eh?

-In Kauai, Hawaii, there is a mountain where it rains more than 350 days a year. Seriously.

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