# What is the maximum size that a drop of rainwater can reach?

This USGS article: "Raindrops are Different Sizes" assures:

We can call the growing droplet a raindrop as soon as it reaches the size of 0.5mm in diameter or bigger. If it gets any larger than 4 millimeters, however, it will usually split into two separate drops.

However, this article in the spanish newspaper El Pais: "Alien raindrops are like those on Earth" is contradictory:

The average diameter that a raindrop can have on Earth is 11.18 millimeters

A commenter on the news article says the article is wrong, but he says a raindrop can reach 6 milimeters and not 4.

The data for the average size of the raindrops on earth is wrong, since they rarely exceed 6 mm in diameter (equivalent). From this size, the drops become unstable and tend to divide into a pair of smaller drops.

What is the maximum size that a drop of rainwater can reach before spliting into two separated drops?

• Not sure if many people here can read Spanish :-) The article is about different kinds of precipitation, solid and liquid, different elements oin different planets and atmopsheres, and cites one K. Loftus saying that the size depends mainly on the relation of gravity and surface tension. It links to this paper: nature.com/articles/s41586-020-2107-1. And I do not know the maximum size of a raindrop on earth ...
– user22279
Apr 20 '21 at 18:15
• And: agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2020JE006653 (openly accessible)
– user22279
Apr 20 '21 at 18:21
• @Earthworm using Google Chrome there is the translation tool. Google has performed a lot his translator and you can understand any article more or less. So the 11.18 milimeters is for any drop? I understand raindrop means water but not sure. Apr 20 '21 at 18:30
• Rain Drops Splitting in two, in my observations depends on Gravity and the Composition of the raindrop, in case it has some minerals and dust. Apr 20 '21 at 20:29