Updated: August 31, 2020 02:52 PM
Created: June 18, 2018 11:00 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Rain can be rare in New Mexico, but most people know it's about to fall by that distinct, crisp smell.
A KOB viewer asked, “Why can you smell the rain?”
Meteorologist Eddie Garcia says it all has to do with an odor called petrichor.
“Some plants release oils during dry spells but when it rains, those oils are released into the air,” Garcia said.
Garcia said the second reaction is created by soil bacteria known as actinomycetes.
There’s a third reason for the smell that accompanies rain. It has to do with lightning. During a thunderstorm, lightning can split oxygen atoms which combine with other atoms in the atmosphere to form a molecule called ozone. It produces a smell similar to chlorine.
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