• It’s raining cats and dogs? More like bats and polliwogs.
    “Animal rain” really happens! Small animals get swept up in windy waterspouts. As the waterspout gets too heavy, the animals fall to Earth with raindrops. 
    Waterspouts form as storm clouds swirl above the ocean or a lake. These clouds form a tornado-like whirlwind that dips into the water. Waterspouts can spin up to 160 kilometers per hour (100 miles per hour)! They can pull in water, pebbles, even fish and jellies!
    Strong winds called updrafts can sweep up much larger animals, such as bats and frogs.
    As updrafts and waterspouts move over land, they lose their swirling energy. They are too heavy to keep moving. These clouds “lighten up” by pouring down rain. People walking below get out their umbrellas—and they may smell something fishy!
  • Here are a few examples of animal rain reported around the world. Keep in mind—not all of these are proven!
  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    atmosphere Noun

    layers of gases surrounding a planet or other celestial body.

    Encyclopedic Entry: atmosphere
    cloud Noun

    visible mass of tiny water droplets or ice crystals in Earth's atmosphere.

    Encyclopedic Entry: cloud
    condensation Noun

    process by which water vapor becomes liquid.

    Encyclopedic Entry: condensation
    ecosystem Noun

    community and interactions of living and nonliving things in an area.

    Encyclopedic Entry: ecosystem
    energy Noun

    capacity to do work.

    funnel cloud Noun

    tube-shaped cloud that, if it touches Earth, becomes a tornado or waterspout.

    high-pressure system Noun

    weather pattern characterized by high air pressure, usually as a result of cooling. High-pressure systems are usually associated with clear weather.

    low-pressure system Noun

    weather pattern characterized by low air pressure, usually as a result of warming. Low-pressure systems are often associated with storms.

    meteorologist Noun

    person who studies patterns and changes in Earth's atmosphere.

    phenomena Plural Noun

    (singular: phenomenon) any observable occurrence or feature.

    polliwog Noun

    frog or toad in its early state of development. Also called a tadpole.

    precipitation Noun

    all forms in which water falls to Earth from the atmosphere.

    Encyclopedic Entry: precipitation
    storm Noun

    severe weather indicating a disturbed state of the atmosphere resulting from uplifted air.

    tornado Noun

    a violently rotating column of air that forms at the bottom of a cloud and touches the ground.

    updraft Noun

    rising movement of gas.

    vortex Noun

    column of rotating fluid, such as air (wind) or water.

    waterspout Noun

    column of rotating cloud-filled wind that descends to an ocean or lake.

    Encyclopedic Entry: waterspout
    weather Noun

    state of the atmosphere, including temperature, atmospheric pressure, wind, humidity, precipitation, and cloudiness.

    Encyclopedic Entry: weather
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