Breaking News
More () »

Greensboro's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Greensboro, North Carolina | WFMYNEWS2.com

VERIFY: Yes, You Can Smell Rain Coming

You ask; we VERIFY. If you think you “smell” rain coming, it’s not a figment of your imagination or a sixth sense. It is a real scientific phenomenon.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — It's a smell almost as pleasant and calming as that of a field of roses. That savory scent of rain could be just a sixth sense...or a real scientific phenomenon.


Can you smell rain before it comes?


  • Meteorologist Terran Kirksey


Kirksey said it's true -- we can, indeed, smell rain. And, that scent has a name -- Petrichor.

"Basically, the smell is from dirt particles that are flung into the air when a raindrop hits the ground," he explained. 

The dirt contains oils from plants and an organic compound geosmin. These compounds give off the classic "rain" smell. Usually, it is more apparent in light rain.

If the "scent" of rain is strong, but it's not yet raining, rain is likely nearby. 


Yes, rain carries a distinct scent known as Petrichor.

Do you have a VERIFY inquiry? Submit a selfie video or post of the question to Meghann Mollerus via:

Facebook: Meghann Mollerus News

E-mail: Mmollerus@wfmy.com

Twitter: @MeghannMollerus