Difference Between Rain and Showers (With Table)

There are certain words whose meanings may appear to be the same but are different and distinct in various aspects. Two such words are rain and shower, whose meaning may appear to be the same, but both of them differ from each other in various domains.

Rain vs Showers

The difference between rain and shower is that rain covers a much wider and larger area when compared to showers, whereas showers refer to a type of precipitation that covers a comparatively smaller area when compared to rains. Another major difference between the two is the duration of effect. The rain lasts longer when compared to showers.

Rain demonstrates the process of evaporation that results in the formation of clouds which, when becoming heavy, burst and result in rain. One of the major sources of fresh water on the Earth is rain that fills up all the freshwater lakes and streams. One of the major sources of water for irrigation is also provided by rains.

A shower is a type of precipitation that begins and ends abruptly and is of varying intensity and power. Some experts define showers as rains from individuals and few clouds over a small area for a short duration. Showers are mostly unexpected and cannot be predicted.

Comparison Table Between Rain and Showers

Parameters of ComparisonRainShowers
Area of CoverageRain covers a very large area. For example, rain can cover an entire district, state, and country.A shower only covers a small piece of land. For example, the shower may cover a particular locality or one-fourth of a district.
Occurrence and PredictionRains can be predicted easily by the meteorological department and the rain develops slowly and steadily.Showers are difficult to be predicted and start and end very abruptly.
Time durationRains last for a comparatively longer period.Showers last for a comparatively shorter period.
Type of cloudsStratus clouds are a source of rain.Cumulus clouds are the origin of showers.
Number of cloudsDuring rainfall, a large number of heavy-filled-up clouds are involved.One of the major features of showers is that there are only a few clouds or a single cloud involved in the process of precipitation.
AdvantageRains are a major source of fresh water and also providing water for irrigation.Showers do not serve any major purpose but can change the weather of an area for a day.

What is Rain?

Rain is a form of precipitation that occurs over a large area. The major causes of rain are:-

  • The most important cause of rainfall is the frontal activity that takes place as a result of the slow and steady forward moving of air.
  • Another cause of rain is the Orographic effect, in which rainfall takes place on the Windward side of mountains.
  • Human activities are also one of the causes of rain. For example, the CFCs from appliances and pollutants from cars and factories also increase the chances of rainfall.

Stratus clouds are the origin of rain that is one of the most widespread phenomena. Rain has a great impact on the agricultural prosperity of a country. All the trees and plants need an adequate amount of water to survive and grow; thus, rain provides the necessary water to these crops and plants. For example, tropical plants require adequate inches of rain to survive.

Rain also has a large number of cultural and religious significance. In India, rain is considered to be a god and is worshipped so that the rain brings prosperity. Excessive and heavy rainfall sometimes brings heavy destruction and natural calamities like floods that eventually lead to several human casualties.

What is Showers?

Showers are abrupt and immediate types of rains that cover a comparatively smaller area when compared to rain. One of the major features of a shower is that it is referred to as patchy, which means it covers a small area.

Showers are produced by convective clouds that are known as cumulus clouds. Cumulonimbus is large cumulus clouds that move very high up in the atmosphere and thus lead to snowfall instead of rain. Showers make the weather of place more humid and moist that is problematic for many people of that particular region.

Showers are highly unpredictable and cannot be judged earlier by the meteorological department; hence one can expect a shower any day. Showers are very common in places that are humid and moist, like Indonesia, Cape Town, and the Maldives. Showers take place from individual big clouds rather than a large pack of clouds.

Main Differences Between Rain and Showers

  1. Rain covers a comparatively larger area. For example, rain covers an entire district, state, and country. On the other hand, a shower covers a comparatively smaller area like a small region in a particular district.
  2. Rains are easily predicted by the Meteorological department, whereas showers cannot be predicted by the meteorological department as they are highly abrupt.
  3. Rains occur for a longer duration, say for 1 day or even a week. On the other hand, showers take place for a shorter duration.
  4. The source of rains is stratus clouds. On the other hand, the source and origin of showers are Cumulus clouds.
  5. A large number of clouds are involved in the entire process of rain, whereas only individual clouds are involved in the process of showers.
  6. A large number of purposes are served by rain, whereas showers do not serve any such major purpose.

Conclusion

There are some words whose differences may be very confusing and difficult to understand. Rain and Shower are two such terms that may appear very similar but are different from each other in various aspects. Rain occurs on a large scale, whereas showers occur on a comparatively smaller scale.

When we talk in our daily life, we refer to showers as rain, but this is not the case when people talk practically about this concept. Showers and rains do have numerous similarities, but also they do differ from each other in various domains. We must analyze what is happening around us and should know every type of precipitation.

References

  1. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF02670416
  2. https://journals.ametsoc.org/view/journals/bams/84/9/bams-84-9-1205.xml
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