- Precipitation is a form of water that falls from the clouds to the Earth. The term precipitation refers both to the kind of water that is falling and also the amount that falls.
- The temperature of the air around the clouds is what determines the kind of precipitation that falls.
- Depending on the temperature, the water can be in the form of rain, hail, snow, sleet, mist, and so on.
- If it is very cold at the level of the clouds, snow will fall; if it is warmer, the precipitation will be rain.
- Rain is liquid water. Liquid is a state of matter. Liquid molecules hold together weakly, so liquids flow. Liquids do not change their volumes significantly but do change their shapes easily. Volume is the amount of space taken up by a substance or object.
- Hail consists of ice pellets formed from the freezing, partial melting, and refreezing of water droplets in the atmosphere.
- Sleet consists of semifrozen raindrops.
- Snow consists of ice crystals formed from frozen water vapor.