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when water falls to Earth as precipitation, it soaks into the soil; this is when groundwater flows.
plants and trees take in water through their roots. Some of it passes out through the pores in their leaves and evaporates into the air.
only 3% of the water is nonsalty; it is constantly recycled during the water cycle and can be a solid, liquid or gas
Life of a Raindrop - Step 1 - Evaporation & Transpiration
this occurs when the sun heats water on oceans, lakes, and rivers; then the water molecules rise into the air as an invisible gas called water vapor
Life of a Raindrop - Step 2 - Condensation
As water vapor rises, it cools. When the air temperature is cool enough, vapor condenses into droplets. Water droplets form around microscopic bits of dust and salt in the air. Clouds are made up of millions of tiny water droplets with dust specks inside. The darker the cloud, the more water it has.
Life of a Raindrop - Step 3 - Precipitation
The droplets are still too small to fall. The droplets blow up and down in a cloud. they combine with other droplets and become raindrops, and are now too heavy to stay in the cloud. Gravity sends them plunging to Earth at at average speed of 14 miles per hour.
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