Moon influences rainfall on Earth: researchers discover

Moon influences rainfall on Earth: researchers discover

Moon's influence not only creates tides on Earth but also have an impact of the amount of rainfall on the planet, a team of University of Washington (UW) researchers found.

After analyzing fifteen years' worth of data collected from U.S. space agency NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite, the researchers concluded that less rain falls when the Moon is very high.

The researchers explained that an area sees higher air pressure and consequently less rain when the Moon is overhead or underfoot (high overhead on the other side of the planet).

In the study report, they wrote, "When the moon is overhead, its gravity causes Earth's atmosphere to bulge toward it . Higher pressure increases the temperature of air parcels below. Since warmer air can hold more moisture, the same air parcels are now farther from their moisture capacity."

Researcher Tsubasa Kohyama and John Wallace said it was the first study that convincingly connected the Moon's tidal force with rainfall on Earth.

However, the study published recently in the journal Geophysical Research Letters underlined that Moon's influence accounts for a very small change, just around 1 per cent of the total rainfall variation.