People with sensitive noses are capable of smelling when it’s about to rain due to atmospheric chemicals reacting and creating ozone, which has a pungent, sweet smell.

Storm Scents: It’s True, You Can Smell Oncoming Summer Rain

When people say they can smell a storm coming, they’re right. Weather patterns produce distinctive odors that sensitive noses sniff out. This year’s peculiar weather patterns—such as drought in the Midwest and a “super derecho” of thunderstorms earlier this summer—are no exception. In fact, as the rains return after a dryspell, many of these odors are stronger than ever. So, what are the scents of a summer storm? Here’s a breakdown of three common odors:

—Oh, ozone

Before the rain begins, one of the first odors you may notice as winds pick up and clouds roll in is a sweet, pungent zing in your nostrils. That’s the sharp, fresh aroma of ozone—a form of oxygen whose name comes from the Greek word ozein (to smell). Tropospheric chemist… Continue Reading