Types and types of precipitation | What are the types of precipitation

In the understanding of an ordinary person, precipitation is rain or snow. In fact, there are many more species and all of them, one way or another, are found throughout the year. Among them there are very unusual phenomena that lead to beautiful effects. What kind of precipitation?


Rain is the falling of drops of water from the sky to the ground as a result of its condensation from the air. In the process of evaporation, water collects into clouds, which later turn into clouds. At a certain moment, the smallest droplets of steam increase, turning into the size of raindrops. Under their own weight, they fall to the surface of the earth.

Rains are heavy, torrential and drizzling. Continuous rain is observed for a long time, characterized by a smooth start and end. The intensity of the fall of drops during the rain practically does not change.

Heavy rains are characterized by short duration and large droplets. They can be up to five millimeters in diameter. Drizzling rain has drops less than 1 mm in diameter. It’s practically fog that hangs above the surface of the earth.


Snow is the precipitation of frozen water, in the form of flakes or frozen crystals. In another way, snow is called dry residues, since falling on a cold surface, snowflakes do not leave wet traces.

In most cases, heavy snowfalls develop gradually. They are characterized by smoothness and the absence of a sharp change in the intensity of precipitation. In a severe frost, a situation of snow appearing from a seemingly clear sky is possible. In this case, snowflakes are formed in the thinnest cloud layer, which is practically invisible to the eye. Such a snowfall is always very light, since a large snow load requires appropriate clouds.

Rain with snow

This is a classic type of precipitation in autumn and spring. It is characterized by the simultaneous fall of both raindrops and snowflakes. This happens due to small fluctuations in air temperature around 0 degrees. In different layers of the cloud, a different temperature is obtained, it also differs on the way to the ground. As a result, some of the drops freeze into snow flakes, and some fly in a liquid state.


Hail is called pieces of ice, into which, under certain conditions, water turns before falling to the ground. The size of the hailstones ranges from 2 to 50 millimeters. This phenomenon occurs in summer, when the air temperature is above +10 degrees and is accompanied by heavy rain with a thunderstorm. Large hailstones can cause damage to vehicles, vegetation, buildings and people.

snow grits

Snow groats are called dry precipitation in the form of dense frozen snow grains. They differ from ordinary snow in high density, small size (up to 4 millimeters) and almost round shape. Such cereals appear at temperatures around 0 degrees, while it may be accompanied by rain or real snow.


Dew drops are also considered precipitation, however, they do not fall from the sky, but appear on various surfaces as a result of condensation from the air. For the appearance of dew, a positive temperature, high humidity, and the absence of strong winds are required. Abundant dew can lead to water streaks on the surfaces of buildings, structures, transport bodies.


It’s winter dew. Hoarfrost is water condensed from the air, but at the same time the past stage of the liquid state. Appears as many white crystals covering, as a rule, horizontal surfaces.


It is a type of frost, but does not appear on horizontal surfaces, but on thin and long objects. As a rule, hoarfrost in wet and frosty weather covers umbrella plants, wires of power lines, tree branches.


Icing is a layer of ice on any horizontal surfaces, which appears as a result of cooling fog, drizzle, rain or sleet with a subsequent drop in temperature in the range below 0 degrees. As a result of ice growth, weak structures can collapse, power lines can be torn.

Black ice is a special case of ice that forms only on the surface of the earth. Most often, it forms after a thaw and a subsequent decrease in temperature.

ice needles

This is another type of precipitation, which is the smallest crystals floating in the air. Ice needles are perhaps one of the most beautiful winter atmospheric phenomena, as they often lead to various lighting effects. They are formed at air temperatures below15 degrees and refract transmitted light in their structure. This results in halos around the sun, or beautiful “pillars” of light extending from streetlights into clear, frosty skies.

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