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The Spring 2011 issue of The Earth Scientist is focused on modernizing seismology education. Thanks to IRIS, you can download this issue for free as a pdf. Print copies are available in our online store.

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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