Atmosphere Academy: What goes up must come down
When it comes to meteorology, sometimes the most basic questions are the most important. Meteorologist Jerry Jackson has more in this week’s edition of the atmosphere academy.
You’ve heard the old saying “what goes up must come down”. It’s especially true in meteorology. Class is in session at Lincoln Elementary School.
Lincoln Elementary School student, Kadeja Hines asks how does the “weather” we see in the sky make it to Earth as rain?
It has to do with something called the atmospheric hydrologic cycle, often called simply the water cycle.
About 71% of the Earth’s surface is water, and this water is on the move more often than you think. Thanks to heat from the sun, water evaporates (turns into a gas). When this happens, the gas (vapor) begins to rise much like steam rising from a pot on a stove. The higher the gas rises, the cooler the surrounding air. Eventually, rising gas cools back down into liquid water. The name for this process is condensation. Water droplets collect themselves together, forming clouds. Cloud droplets eventually become so heavy that they fall back to earth- a process we call rain.
This fallen rain eventually runs off or drains back into lakes, rivers, and oceans, where the whole cycle begins all over again. For the atmosphere academy, with a little help from the students of Lincoln elementary school, class dismissed!
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