Questions & Answers: Precipitation

The following are questions asked of ACMP scientists and the answers they provided. Click on the question at the top to jump to the answer below.

What is snow made of?

Snow is made of frozen water. Snow is the same as ice cubes, except instead of being frozen as a block; it is formed into a crystal pattern. What pattern it's formed in depends on what temperature the water is when it freezes. Sometimes snow has other stuff in it, such as dust or sand. The dust or sand particle may cause the snow to form earlier. - Cathy Cahill

What is precipitation?

Precipitation is any liquid or frozen water that falls from the sky. Rain, snow, sleet, frozen rain, etc. are all precipitation. - Cathy Cahill

How does it rain?

Water in its gas form is called water vapor. There is a lot of water vapor in the air. If there is enough of it in one spot, the molecules gather together and get heavy. When they get heavy enough, they fall. - Cathy Cahil

How does a blizzard start?

A blizzard is composed of heavy wind and lots of snow. When you have a big difference in the amount of pressure that is in the air, the air tries to flow down quickly, which creates a strong wind. When the cold air is flowing in and the warm air is in front of it, the cold air wrings the moisture out of the warm air, causing it to condense into snow. The strong wind and the snow together form a blizzard. - Cathy Cahill

What are some different types of jobs related to weather?

The obvious one is meteorologist, which requires a bachelor's degree in meteorology or atmospheric science. To be a meteorologist, you have to be able to do math pretty well, and general physics. There are also positions for computer programmers, electronic technicians, those who work on the sensing equipment, and administrative jobs.-  John Lingaas

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