Forms of Precipitation

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  • rain is in the form of liquid droplets.
  • Whenever the rain drops fall from high altitude clouds some of them evaporate while passing through the layer of dry air.
  • On occasions, falling raindrops completely evaporate before reaching the ground. Such rainfall is called virga.
  • On contrary, when there is thick cloud cover and lower air is moist, there is heavy downpour.
  • In this type of rainfall the raindrops are large and more numerous.
  • Generally the second type of rainfall is more frequent.


  • when the drops of rain are very small and are of uniform size and seem to float in the air, it is called drizzle.
  • The radius of drops is less than 500 microns.
  • The relative humidity in the inter-layers of air between the cloud base and the ground is often nearly 100%.


  • it is a precipitation of white and opaque crystals of snow.
  • This occurs when the cloud formation occurs below 0 degree C.


  • it is a type of precipitation in the form of mixture of rain and snow.
  • It is a frozen rain which forms when rain while falling to the earth passes through a layer of very cold air mass.
  • Sometimes sleet may grow into hailstorms when violent vertical currents are produced in the atmosphere.


  • It falls in the form of small ice pellets.
  • Hail is the most destructive form of precipitation produced in violent thunderstorms or cumulonimbus clouds.
  • The hail consists of concentric layers of ice alternating with layers of snow.
  • Its structure resembles to that of onion.

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