Precipitation is any liquid or frozen water that forms in the atmosphere and falls to the earth.
Rain Sleet and Snow Are Examples of What?
The Three Types of Precipitation Most people are familiar with the three types of precipitation: rain, sleet, and snow. Each type of precipitation has different characteristics, and they all form in different ways.
Rain is the most common type of precipitation, and it is simply water that falls from the clouds in the form of liquid droplets.
The temperature must be warm enough for the water droplets to remain in liquid form, and this usually occurs when the air temperature is above freezing. Sleet is a type of precipitation that falls as a mixture of ice and rain.
It forms when the air temperature is below freezing and the raindrops fall through a layer of cold air and freeze. Snow is a type of precipitation that falls in the form of ice crystals.
The air temperature must be below freezing for snow to form, and the ice crystals usually form around dust or pollen particles in the atmosphere.
All three types of precipitation can fall from the same cloud, but the type of precipitation that falls depends on the temperature of the air. If the air is warm, then rain will fall. If the air is cold, then sleet or snow will fall.