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As you already noticed that the と is used as the quote marker in the first sentence. That means 雨がいつ降るか is written as the person's thought, which makes the sentence more subjective. On the contrary, the second sentence sounds more objective. Relatively with or without personal feelings might be the crucial difference between the two sentences. By the way, ...
I would say 私に厳しくしてください (but do you really want someone to be strict with you?)
「～～というのだ」、「～～というの」、「～～というのか」, etc. added at the end of a question generally functions to emphasize the question itself. By adding one of those phrases, you are expressing the fact that you really want to know the answer because whatever happened that caused you to ask the question perplexes, surprises or shocks you. Does the usage of という have any ...
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