The availability of lasers with highest beam qualities at laser powers of 1 kW (such as single-mode fibre laser, which nowadays come close to the theoretical limits) provides a unique tool to investigate welding process phenomena in a wide range of potential applications from welding with penetrations of some 50 "m to penetrations of some mm. Thus covering the field of micro welding as well as of macro welding, scalability of welding processes as well as size effects associated with the underlying physical phenomena may be of significance. In this paper, the humping effect will be given a closer look, as this periodic melt pool instability is an important limitation to possible welding speeds both in the micro and the macro range. Based on experimental investigations with a single-mode fibre laser (YLR-1000, laser power 1 kW, BPP < 0.4 mm*mrad), a model based on a modification of Rayleigh’s considerations on the stability of an inviscid incompressible fluid which is freely suspended in space and maintained only by surface tension is developed and discussed. It is shown that, within the scope of the investigations, humping to a large extent can be explained by Rayleigh’s theory, permitting to neglect the influence of three-dimensional melt flow.