ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Precipitation and its Forms

Updated on August 14, 2017
varsha bang profile image

Varsha is an enthusiast writer who loves to share informational content. She mostly writes about geographical phenomena.

The falling of water droplets and ice crystals and their other forms on ground is called precipitation. It includes drizzle, rain, cloud burst, snowfall, sleet and hail.

When vapour rise up in atmosphere, condensation takes place and the tiny water droplets and ice crystals form the clouds. It is, however, not necessary that these clouds may cause precipitation. These tiny droplets ascend further and under certain favourable conditions join together. When they become bigger and heavy and cannot remain suspended in atmosphere, the condensed particles fall on the ground in the form of precipitation.

A raindrop on a leaf
A raindrop on a leaf | Source

Forms of Precipitation

Drizzle: The light rain falling in very tiny drops is called drizzle. These droplets are tiny particles of 0.5 mm diameter or smaller. They are so tiny that even light wind may blow them away. It is frequent over large areas of the World's oceans particularly in the colder regions of the subtropics.

Rainfall: Rainfall is in the form of drops of water. These raindrops may vary in diameter from 0.5 to 7 mm. Sudden and violent rainfall is termed as a shower. It lasts only for a short while. The shower drops of rainfall are large and heavy. They may even be of 8 mm diameter.


A snow-covered park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, during winter.
A snow-covered park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, during winter. | Source
Sleet on the ground.
Sleet on the ground. | Source

Snowfall: When the temperature of surrounding air during condensation falls below the freezing point, the condensed particles may fall as snowflakes or as minute particles of cold ice. Snowfall occurs from the clouds formed with the mixture of ice crystals and very cold water droplets. Major snow-prone areas include the polar regions, the upper half of the Northern Hemisphere and mountainous regions of Southern Hemisphere.

Sleet: Sleet includes both rain drops and snow flakes. It is of two types: 1) Sleet due to frozen rain drops. 2) Sleet due to refrozen melted snow water.

Formation of Sleet: The condition under which the temperature of a layer of air near the ground falls below the freezing point and the layer of air above it has the temperature above the freezing point is most favorable for the formation of sleet. This precipitation falls from upper warm layers and upon crossing the cold layer below it reaches the ground in partially solidified form as pellets of ice together with cold rain drops. Areas where sleet is common are UK, USA, Ireland and most Commonwealth countries.

Hailstones ranging in size from few millimetres to over a centimetre in diameter.
Hailstones ranging in size from few millimetres to over a centimetre in diameter. | Source

Hail: The precipitation in the form of hard solidified pellets of ice is known as hail. These pellets may be rounded and small sized like those of peas.They generally have a diameter of 5 mm or more. The small ice granules may also grow in size and their structure may resemble that of an onion and may grow to the size of a tennis ball. In this case, the bigger granules have frozen layered structure. The bigger granules cause great harm to standing crops. Taken together as a whole, agricultural crops suffer losses worth crores of rupees all over the world due to hailstorms.

Formation of Hail: The precipitation in the form of hail is generally caused by thunderstorms. During thunderstorms, cumulus clouds may be found up to 12 km height. Under such conditions, the rising air current takes water droplets to great heights. These then get frozen. The frozen pellets with their weight try to fall on the ground but strong air current bounces them back. They then again get frozen around other smaller particles present in the atmosphere. It may happen several times until the pellets are large enough or the currents may have weakened that the air is unable to hold them. This is known as the hailstorm.

Areas of HailStorm: In two zones of 30° to 60° North and South, hail storms are very common.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)