Precipitation is water particles falling to Earth’s surface, by gravity, in either in a liquid or solid state. The main forms of precipitation covered at IslandWood include rain, snow, sleet and hail. When a localized section of the atmosphere becomes saturated with water vapour, water condenses. Two processes, possibly acting together, can lead to air becoming saturated: cooling the air or adding water vapor to the air. Precipitation takes place when so much water has condensed that the air cannot hold it any longer. The clouds get heavy and water falls back to the earth in the form of rain, snow, sleet or hail. Precipitation forms as smaller droplets combine through collision with other rain drops or ice crystals within a cloud.
Precipitation is a major component of the water cycle and is responsible for giving fresh water to the planet.