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Water Vapor and


What is Water Vapor?

Water in the form of a gas.
It is invisible, colorless, odorless and tasteless.
The amount of water vapor in the air is called

What is precipitation? - pageD46

Any form of water particles that falls from the
atmosphere and reaches the ground.
Occurs when cloud droplets or ice crystals join
together and become heavy enough to fall.

What are the types of percipitation?


What is rain?
Water droplets form from warm air. As the warm air rises in
the sky it cools. Water vapor (invisible water in the air)
always exists in our air.
Warm air holds quite a bit of water. For example, in the
summer it is usually very humid. When enough of these
droplets collect together, we see them as clouds.

When the drops in the clouds get heavy, they fall because
of gravity, and you see and feel rain.

What is snow?
Formed when water vapor changes directly to ice without
first becoming a liquid, high in the atmosphere at a
temperature of less than 32F and then falls to the ground.

What is sleet?
Rain drops that freeze into ice pellets before reaching the
It can accumulate like snow and cause a hazard to

What is hail/freezing rain?

Rain that falls onto a surface with a temperature below
Freezes to surfaces, such as trees, cars, and roads,
forming a coating or glaze of ice.
Very hazardous

How can I see water vapor?

When the molecules slow down, they form
The changing from a gas to a liquid.

Plants roots absorb water that has seeped into
the ground.
Plants transport this water through their roots
and into their leaves. The leaves then give off
the water.

The changing from a liquid into a gas
Each day the sun turns trillions of tons of ocean water into
water vapor.

Relative humidity
How much water vapor is in the air and how much the air
could hold - at a given temperature.
It can affect how a person feels. The higher the relative
humidity, the less water can evaporate into the air. The
less water (sweat) can evaporate from our skin and make
us feel sticky.

A large collection of very tiny droplets of water
or ice crystals. The droplets are so small and
light that they can float in the air.

How are clouds formed?

All air contains water, but near the ground it is usually in the
form of an invisible gas called water vapor.
When warm air rises, it expands and cools.
Cool air can't hold as much water vapor as warm air, so
some of the vapor condenses onto tiny pieces of dust that
are floating in the air and forms a tiny droplet around each
dust particle.

When billions of these droplets come together they become

a visible cloud.

What is fog?
Fog is a cloud on the ground. It is composed of billions of
tiny water droplets floating in the air.

How is fog formed?

Southerly winds bring warm, moist air into a region.
When it warms, moist air flows over much colder soil or
Warm, moist air is cooled from below as it flows over a
colder surface.

If the air is near saturation, moisture will condense out of

the cooled air and form fog.
With light winds, the fog near the ground can become thick
and reduce visibilities to zero.

What are the main cloud types?

Cloud Video Clip

Stratus clouds are uniform grayish clouds that often
cover the entire sky.
They resemble fog that doesn't reach the ground.
Light mist or drizzle sometimes
falls out of these clouds.

The most common of the high clouds.
They are composed of ice and are thin, wispy clouds
blown in high winds into long streamers.
Cirrus clouds are usually white and predict fair to
pleasant weather.

Cumulus clouds are white, puffy clouds that look like pieces of
floating cotton.
Cumulus clouds are often called "fair-weather clouds".
The base of each cloud is flat and the
top of each cloud has rounded towers.

Cumulonimbus clouds are thunderstorm clouds.
High winds can flatten the top of the cloud into an anvil-like shape.
Cumulonimbus clouds are
associated with heavy rain,
snow, hail, lightning and even
tornadoes. The anvil usually
points in the direction the
storm is moving.

A cloud that produces