Substances can exist in three different physical states called "phases." The common states of matter are:
Water can exist in our atmosphere in any and all of these three phases. The air you breathe contains some water vapor mixed with other gases (such as nitrogen and oxygen). At times you will see raindrops or fog droplets (liquid water). At other times you may see hail or snowflakes (solid water).
One of the reasons weather forecasting in the Puget Sound region is difficult is because of its many unique geographic characteristics. These geographic characteristics provide differing weather conditions throughout the region. They also combine to create the "convergence zone" (CZ). The CZ accounts for large differences in precipitation over small distances.
To explore more about the unique geography of the Puget Sound region, go to Terrain of the Pacific Northwest.
Go to the "Why Did The Air Turn Cold?" page.
Return to the "What Makes It Snow?" page.