What is the Difference between Rain and Precipitation?

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

The difference between Rain and Precipitation is rain falls as water droplets, whereas precipitation can fall as snow, water, etc. Precipitation is any liquid or frozen water that begins in the atmosphere and falls to the Earth’s surface. Rain, on the other hand, is precipitation that falls in the form of water.

Difference between Rain and Precipitation

Given below are the key differences between rain and precipitation.

Rain Precipitation
Rain has only one form, which is water. It can fall in different forms, including raindrops, ice shots, hail, snowflakes, diamond dust, or occult deposition.
Rain is a type of precipitation form. It includes rain as one of its forms and can even fall as frozen water.
It falls on the ground after the humidity level rises and water vapors rise in the atmosphere to form water droplets. If an area is colder, for instance, in higher altitudes, the water droplets freeze to form ice and fall as snow, a form of precipitation.
Rain is an important part of the water cycle because it is responsible for depositing the majority of the fresh water on Earth. The most common types of precipitation are drizzle, rain, sleet, snow, ice pellets, graupel, and hail.
It supplies water for hydroelectric power plants, crop irrigation, and habitat for various ecosystems. Precipitation occurs when a portion of the atmosphere becomes saturated with water vapor, causing the water to condensate and “precipitate” or fall.

Rain vs Precipitation

When water vapor condenses into larger and larger water droplets in the clouds, rain formation begins. When these drops condense and become heavy, they fall to the ground.

  • If the temperature in the area is below zero degrees Celsius, precipitation falls in the form of fine snow fragments, also known as snowfall.
  • The main dissimilarity between both is in the state they fall on the Earth’s ground.

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