The definition of precipitation is any form of water - liquid or solid - falling from the sky. It includes rain, sleet, snow, hail and drizzle plus a few less common occurrences such as ice pellets, diamond dust and freezing rain.
Click on the weather phenomena below to find out more.
Find out what rain is and the different types it can take.
Drizzle is a type of liquid precipitation consisting of very small droplets of water falling from low level stratus clouds.
Freezing rain is rain droplets or drizzle that fall in supercooled liquid form until it strikes a cold surface. It is a type of liquid precipitation.
Hail is solid precipitation in the form of balls or pieces of ice known as hailstones.
Ice pellets are a type of solid precipitation that have a diameter of less than 5mm. They are spherical or irregular and rarely conical.
Snow forms when tiny ice crystals in clouds stick together to become snowflakes. If enough crystals stick together, they'll become heavy enough to fall to the ground.
Sleet is a type of solid precipitation that occurs during winter weather.
Snow grains are a very small form of solid precipitation.
Diamond dust consists of extremely small ice crystals usually formed at low levels and at temperatures below -30 °C.
Last updated: 6 January 2016
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