Rain Facts

Rain happens through the water cycle and the water cycle is a very important part of the weather around us.

Black Rain Clouds

Water Cycle

With the water cycle, water moves all around the Earth. A great thing about the water cycle is that it never stops. It is called a cycle because it is basically a circle where things continue to happen over and over.

One part of the water cycle is that water that is on the surface of the lake or the ocean will eventually evaporate and when water evaporates, it turns into water vapor. The water vapor then goes into the clouds. As the clouds move around the Earth, they pick up water vapor and when they get full, they begin to drop water, which is called rain or snow.

Heavy rain

When the water hits the Earth, it can fall on the ground, in the ocean, it can be on the mountains or it can fall into the plants and trees and help to feed them. After the water hits the Earth, it begins to evaporate, which causes water vapor to move into the clouds and stays there until the clouds get full. This is why it is basically a big circle that never ends.

How Does Water Get into the Atmosphere?

There are three main ways that water gets into the atmosphere. The first is through sublimation. Sublimation happens when water goes immediately to a vapor from ice or snow without it even melting. This can happen when there is a lot of snow or a lot of ice and it is very cold. But it has to be sunny so that the ice can turn into vapor.

Evaporation is another way water gets into the atmosphere. When evaporation happens, water goes from the ground to the air. Around 90% of the water vapor that is found in the atmosphere happens because of evaporation. Evaporation only is present on the water’s surface, but it also takes in energy from the heat of the sun. When water vapors are warmed, they evaporate easier than when they are cold. The sun is the main reason for evaporation.

Rain falling on a field, in southern Estonia

The last way that water gets into the atmosphere is through transpiration. Transpiration happens when plants give off water on their leaves and then the water on their leaves evaporates and turns into a vapor.

Plants release a lot of water as they grow.

Rain and Precipitation

There is a lot of water that is in the atmosphere and in the clouds. When the clouds get full, the precipitation falls to the ground. The precipitation is water that was taken into the clouds and then falls back to the land. Even though it depends on temperature, water vapor can be in the form of sleet, hail, snow, and rain.

Where is Most of the Water?

Water is stored all over the atmosphere of the Earth. Oceans and lakes help to store much of the water and other water is in the form of ice on the mountain tops or in the form of glaciers. Even water that is found underground is a good place that water can be stored.

More Facts About Rain:

  • Rain that falls from clouds is called precipitation.
  • Other planets have rain too.
  • Venus has rain that is made of acid.
  • A weather radar helps to monitor the amount of rain to an area.
  • When there is too much rain, it can cause flooding to happen.
  • Antarctica is the driest continent.
  • When a lot of rain falls in a forest, it is called a rainforest.
  • Rain that has high levels of acid is called acid rain and can be harmful to people, animals and plants.

What Did You Learn?

  • How does rain happen?
    Rain happens because it is part of the water cycle. When the atmosphere warms up, it causes water from the ocean and lakes to evaporate and form a vapor in the sky. When the clouds pick up the vapor, they eventually get full and drop out precipitation, which is rain.
  • Why is the water cycle called a cycle?
    The water cycle is called a cycle because it is like a circle and it keeps happening over and over again.
  • Is rain important?
    Rain is very important to help give us water and to help feed the plants and trees. Without rain, the plants and trees would die.
  • Where does the water go after it rains?
    Much of the water is stored in the Earth such as in oceans, lakes and even underground.
  • What happens when it rains too much in one area?
    When it rains too much in one area it can cause flooding.