Difference between Light Rain and Showers

Key Difference: Light rain is basically light precipitation that falls from the sky which covers a large area and commonly falls from stratus clouds. Now, rain showers are shorter in duration and they cover a small area. Showers are also heavier in terms of intensity. They tend to be quick and come in bursts and fall from puffy cumuliform clouds.

Rain and showers are two different words that define the rain. There are many words that have become associated with saying its raining including its pouring, showers, drizzles, etc. These words often cause confusion for many people that are not into the complex weather language. Light rain and showers both mean raining, but it differs in the way the rain falls, the area over which it falls and the cloud it falls from. Confusing isn’t it? Let’s simplify it.

Light rain and showers are both associated with rain; however, showers can also refer to snow. The only difference between snow showers and rain showers is the rain/snow, nothing more. Now back to light rain. Light rain is basically light precipitation that falls from the sky which covers a large area and commonly falls from stratus clouds, such as altostratus or nimbostratus. These clouds are non-puffy and are flat overcast clouds.

Now, rain showers are shorter in duration and they cover a small area. For example, it would shower only in one county or city, while the counties or cities would be left untouched. Showers are also heavier in terms of intensity. They tend to be quick and come in bursts, think about a shower in the bathroom, the steady and quick flow of water. Well, that is what rain showers are like. These come from puffy cumuliform clouds, such as cumulus or cumulonimbus. Showers from these clouds also tend to heavy and can also be associated with thunder and lightening.

As you can see, though all the terminology refers to the same thing, there are still slight differences between what they mean and what conditions they require fulfilling. It is often easy to become confused. Here is a simple method to tell them apart. If the rain is heavy, continuous and the sky is dark then it will be considered as a shower. Now, if the sky is still light, with white clouds and the rain is moderate in intensity, then it would be considered as light rain.

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