The quantity of rainfall that would result from condensation and precipitation of the total moisture in a column of air in the atmosphere. Most atmospheric moisture is contained in the lower atmosphere, below about 5500m. On average, an atmospheric column of 1 m2 cross-section contains vapour equivalent to 5–25mm depth of rainfall. The average residence time of moisture in the atmosphere is about nine days.
Subjects: Biological Sciences — Earth Sciences and Geography.