# Precipitation

Answer each of these questions on a sheet of paper.
• What is rain? How does rain happen?

• What is snow? How does snow happen?

• What is hail? How does it happen?
ACTIVITY (This activity needs to be done with an adult.)

You are going to do an activity were the adult will hold a pot of ice over a pot with boiling water. What do you think will happen to the bowl of ice, to the steam, and to the bottom of the bowl?

Get a pot of water in which you can boil water and a pot in which you can put ice. Get a pie tin or other container to place between the boiling water and the pot of ice once something starts to happen to the outside of the pot with the ice.

The adult is going to hold the bowl of ice water over the boiling water. This may work best if the bowl has a handle or you use a clear Pyrex or other type container.

Once the water is boiling, hold the bowl of ice over the steam. Place the pie tin so that the water which drips from the bottom of the bowl will collect in the tin. Write down what you observe and share what you observe happening. Here are some questions to help focus the observation. On a sheet of paper answer these questions with a partner.
• What do you see happening on the bottom of the bowl?

• What do you see happening in the pie tin?

• How does the water get on the bowl?

• Are the water drops on the side of the bowl the same size? Why?

• Which drops are falling from the bowl? Why?

• Which drops look like rain?

• Which drops look like a cloud?

• How are the big drops formed?"

Explain that the small misty drops which have condensed onto the side of the bowl of ice represent a cloud. The winds in a cloud blow the small drops around so that they collide with one another. During these collisions, some drops will combine with others making bigger and bigger drops. When the drops become so large that the upward movement of air cannot keep them in the sky, the drops fall as precipitation. If the temperature is cold enough the drops will freeze as crystals, making snow. If the drops get together first and then freeze the precipitation will be hail. If the conditions are not cold enough, the precipitation will be rain.

Click on a link to continue: