What Does Precipitation Mean?


Quick Answer

Precipitation occurs when water is released from the clouds in any form. Water gets recycled on the Earth as a result of the water cycle where water evaporates, condenses and then falls as precipitation.

Continue Reading
What Does Precipitation Mean?
Credit: Robert Couse-Baker CC-BY 2.0

Full Answer

The sun heats up the water from oceans, lakes and rivers. The water then evaporates, with the water vapor rising into the air and condensing into water droplets that form clouds. When these water droplets can no longer stay airborne, they fall as rain, sleet, hail or snow.

Much of the precipitation that falls to Earth is in the form of rain. The most rain that ever fell during a year occurred in India in 1861. Arica, Chile, holds the record for not receiving any type of precipitation for 14 years.

Learn more about Earth Science
Related Videos

Related Questions