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Forms of Precipitation Rain liquid form often originates as snow drizzle smallest diameter of raindrops Snow ice crystals density much less than rain 1 inch rainfall = 10 inches snow (avg) Forms of Precipitation, cont. Sleet frozen raindrops

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forms of precipitation
Forms of Precipitation
  • Rain
    • liquid form
    • often originates as snow
    • drizzle
      • smallest diameter of raindrops
  • Snow
    • ice crystals
    • density much less than rain
    • 1 inch rainfall = 10 inches snow (avg)
forms of precipitation cont
Forms of Precipitation, cont.
  • Sleet
    • frozen raindrops
    • rain freezes upon entering a cold, thick surface layer of air
  • Freezing Rain
    • ice storm
    • raindrops freeze upon contact with cold surface
forms of precipitation cont3
Forms of Precipitation, cont.
  • Hail
    • lumps of ice
    • severe thunderstorms (cumulonimbus)
the precipitation process
The Precipitation Process
  • Will precipitation occur or not?
    • gravity vs. air currents
    • droplet size (diameter)
      • Average water particle is 10 microns
      • need about a million to be large enough
  • coalescence
    • growth of water particles
    • three types
ice crystal growth
Ice Crystal Growth
  • most common form of coalescence
  • requires water vapor, water droplets (supercooled), and ice crystals
  • water vapor condenses upon ice crystals
  • ice crystals intercept water droplets & droplets crystallize
  • occurs in cold clouds
    • temperatures below 32 degrees F
  • resulting precipitation
    • snow, rain, sleet
water droplet collision
Water Droplet Collision
  • not common, but not unusual either
  • coalescence through collisions
  • occurs in warm clouds
    • temperatures above 32 degrees F
  • resulting precipitation
    • rain
condensation nuclei
Condensation Nuclei
  • some air particles are hygroscopic
    • ex. dust, which attracts water droplets or ice crystals
  • coalescence may proceed
    • ice crystal growth or water droplet collision
  • artificial cloud seeding
    • may induce precipitation
    • can enhance precipitation
    • silver iodide or dry ice (frozen carbon dioxide) serve as nuclei