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With Explore the Planets, investigate the planets, their moons, and understand the processes that shape them. By G. Jeffrey Taylor, Ph.D. See our DVD collection.

Precipitation

Precipitation (pre-sip-uh-tay-shun) is any form of water that falls to the Earth's surface. Different forms of precipitation include drizzle, rain, hail, snow, sleet, and freezing rain.

Precipitation is important because it helps maintain the atmospheric balance. Without precipitation, all of the land on the planet would be desert. Precipitation helps farmers grow crops and provides a fresh water supply for us to drink.

Precipitation can also be damaging. Too much rain and snow can cause severe flooding and lots of traffic accidents. Hail can damage crops and cars. Freezing rain and sleet can destroy trees and power lines.

The opposite of precipitation is evaporation.

Last modified October 2, 2008 by Becca Hatheway.

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