How is rain formed?

Rain Facts For Kids – How is Rain Formed?

We all know that rain is good for our planet; it gives us fresh water to drink, helps farmers grow crops, keeps everything green and lush and is fun to run around in!

Did you know that without rain, most of our planet would be like a desert? That’s a scary thought! We’re going to find out all about rain and how it’s formed.

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What is rain?

Rain is actually part of a bigger part of the weather called precipitation, which means any form of water that falls to the earth like rain, snow, drizzle, hail and sleet.

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How is rain formed?

Water is always moving; rain that’s fallen where you live may have been water in the ocean a couple of days before. What a weird thought.

Water can be in the atmosphere, on land, in the ocean and even underground. It gets used over and over and over again through what is called the water cycle. In this cycle water changes from liquid, solid and gas (which is water vapor).

Water vapor then gets into the atmosphere through a process called evaporation. This then turns the water that is at the top of oceans, rivers and lakes into water vapor in the atmosphere using energy from the sun. This vapor can also from snow and ice too.

The water vapor rises in the atmosphere and there it cools down and forms tiny water droplets through something called condensation. These then turn into clouds. When they all combine together, they grow bigger and are too heavy to stay up there in the air. This is when they will fall to the ground as rain, or maybe snow or hail by gravity.

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What happens to rain as it falls?

Once the rain has fallen, a lot of it goes into oceans, rivers, lakes and streams that will all eventually lead to our oceans. Snow and ice stay on the surface of the earth, like glaciers and other types of ice. Some rain seeps into the ground.

Fun Facts about Rain

  • Water stays in some places longer than others. A drop of water may spend over 3,000 years in the ocean before moving on to another part of the water cycle. Wow! On average a drop of water spends an average of 8 days in the atmosphere before falling back down to Earth.
  • The highest amount of rainfall ever recorded in one year was 1,000 inches in Cherrapunji, India. That is a lot of rain.
  • Antarctica is the driest continent on Earth.
  • Raindrops fall at a speed of 1 to 18 mph. When there is wind, they could fall much faster.
  • Do you think rain is just water? Well it’s not. It can have all sorts of things in it like dirt, dust, insects, grass or even chemicals! It’s probably a good idea not to swallow rain!

Vocabulary

Precipitation – any form of water that falls to the Earth

Atmosphere – a thin layer of gases that surround the Earth

Condensation – this is when water vapor in the air goes from a gas back to a liquid and leaves the atmosphere, coming back down to the surface of the Earth.

Vapor – a gas

Now you have all the great info you need on rain and how it’s formed. We hope you’ve found it interesting.