What's the Best Umbrella?

April showers bring landfills of cheap umbrellas ripped inside out by wind and wear and tear. You deserve a better rain-blocking device, so head for the comments and tell us which 'brella is best. » 3/30/15 3:15pm Monday 3:15pm

We're Going to Fly Four Planes Straight into the Pineapple Express

When it rains in California, it really damn pours. The weather phenomenon is known as an atmospheric river, a narrow but concentrated band of moisture that can transport as much water vapor as 15 Mississippi Rivers. Atmospheric rivers can make or break a drought, but there's still so much we don't know about how or… » 2/04/15 7:20pm 2/04/15 7:20pm

What High-Speed Cameras Can Tell Us About the Smell of Rain 

That lovely, earthy smell after the rain has a name: petrichor. Exactly what causes petrichor, however, is unknown. Armed with high-speed cameras, MIT scientists have found that the interface where raindrop hits earth is a little more complicated than you might expect. » 1/14/15 3:40pm 1/14/15 3:40pm

The Tempescope Puts the Weather in a Box on Your Desk

Sure, you could just download a weather app to see what conditions are like outside your front door, but where's the fun in that? Ken Kawamoto's Tempescope actually creates rain, clouds, and simulated lightning right inside your house. It's the ultimate push notification. » 10/10/14 1:51pm 10/10/14 1:51pm

Flooding, Anti-Vaxxers, Museums: What's Ruining Our Cities This Week

Flooding in Pakistan has stranded hundreds of thousands of people, an anti-vaccination movement trending in L.A.'s most affluent neighborhoods is causing a whooping cough epidemic, and one broken air conditioner could destroy Rome's most priceless art. Hope you're comfortable, this week's What's Ruining Our Cities is… » 9/14/14 3:00pm 9/14/14 3:00pm

Bad Cell Phone Calls Could Actually Be Tracked to Detect Rainfall

Despite the many wonders of our modern cell phones, using them to call a real live human can kind of suck. The sound is fuzzy, the calls drop randomly, and a simple rainstorm can make it all even worse. But there is surprising upside to all this: we can monitor the quality of cell phone calls to track rain and floods… » 7/25/14 3:23pm 7/25/14 3:23pm

San Francisco's Sights Reflected Upside-Down In Perfectly Clear Puddles

San Francisco's got a beautiful skyline, but Angela May Chen prefers looking towards the pavement for a crystal clear view. The designer and photographer captured some of the city's iconic (and lovably hyper-local) sights reflected perfectly in puddles after good hard rains then flipped the pics, resulting in a series » 5/31/14 11:08am 5/31/14 11:08am

What Causes the Smell After It Rains?

There are three primary sources of smells that commonly occur after rain. The first, the "clean" smell, in particular after a heavy thunderstorm, is caused by ozone. Ozone (scientifically known as trioxygen due to the fact that it is comprised of three oxygen atoms) is notably pungent and has a very sharp smell that… » 5/27/14 11:20am 5/27/14 11:20am

This Vacuum Brewer Infuses Your Tea (or Booze) With Almost Anything

With mixology and DIY designer beverages on the rise, it's no wonder that users want more control. Enter BKON's new Craft Brewer, an impressive piece of machinery that infuses liquids in a perfect vacuum. Gizmodo recently got a hands-on demo at the iconic Counter Culture in Soho—and this thing can brew. » 5/22/14 5:20pm 5/22/14 5:20pm

Don't Drive 1,000 MPH: Raindrops Will Destroy Your Windshield

Rain hitting your windshield can mean dicey road conditions and traffic snags. According to XKCD's What If, the force of those drops hitting your windshield can also destroy your car's windshield. Lesson learned: don't drive at speeds of Mach 1.5 in a downpour if you want your glass to survive. » 4/26/14 10:00am 4/26/14 10:00am

These Silk Scarves Are Patterned With Real Raindrops

Depending on what you're wearing, unexpected downpours can be real outfit ruiners. Rather than block the drops, Dutch designer Aliki van der Kruijs used them to make natural patterns on specially-treated silk scarves. » 3/25/14 5:00pm 3/25/14 5:00pm

How Bad Is California's Drought? This Bad

California needs rain, and they need it bad. How bad? Just have a look at the GIF above. The first image shows Folsom Lake near Sacramento on July 20, 2011. The second image shows Folsom Lake on January 16, 2014. Notice a difference? » 2/26/14 3:20pm 2/26/14 3:20pm

This Reflective Umbrella Surrounds You In a Super-Safe Halo of Light

To me, whimsical umbrellas—you know, the kind printed with Starry Night or cats—have always seemed like a mockery of the rain-drenched commuter's misery. But this reflective version actually makes practical sense, since it turns its owner into a glowing beacon of safety. » 2/23/14 10:00am 2/23/14 10:00am

Could Fog Catchers Help Solve America's Drought Problem?

California's running out of water. This year's record-breaking drought—coming after two already dry years—has the state scrambling for the liquid stuff. Plans to seed clouds for extra snowfall are already in place. But do we really require storm clouds for water? Why not use fog? » 1/08/14 10:20am 1/08/14 10:20am

Can Bad Weather Actually Cause Joint Ache?

You might have heard grandma or grandpa predicting a storm because they "could feel it in their bones" and when a storm hit you probably thought they'd been watching the weather channel. Turns out, their joints *probably* do get a little achy when it's about to rain. » 12/11/13 8:00am 12/11/13 8:00am

China Plans to Fight Its Smog With Artificial Rain

China has an awful smog problem, which means its cities smell, are hard to breathe in, and, in the most unfortunate extreme, give children cancer. But its authorities hope that it may have found a solution, in the form of artificial rain. » 12/05/13 8:30am 12/05/13 8:30am

These Minimalist Watercolors Are Made From Real Drops Of Rain

Most folks pick up the pace or seek cover when the skies open up and it starts to pour, but that’s precisely when Gustavo Sousa takes to the streets to collect some creative inspiration. » 9/05/13 7:00pm 9/05/13 7:00pm

Finally, Someone Made a Visor For Your Car's Side Mirrors

Most cars have wipers on the front and back windshields, and some even on the the headlights. But you'll be hard pressed to find a vehicle with wiper blades on the side mirrors which get just as wet and obscured when it's raining. So instead of just crossing your fingers and hoping you're not cutting someone off when… » 8/26/13 1:14pm 8/26/13 1:14pm

The Rainmakers: How Human Beings Control the Weather

Humans have been trying to control the weather since the day we traded in our spears for shovels. Cultures from every corner of the globe have worshipped rain-granting deities, and our sci-fi villains have been obsessed with flood and drought. But in the modern era, we no longer have use for the old water gods. We've… » 7/09/13 2:46pm 7/09/13 2:46pm