The Water Cycle
1 Clouds form when there is water in the sky. Water from the ground gets pulled back up into the sky. This is called evaporation.
2 Evaporation is when a liquid changes to a gas form. Water becomes vapor. This happens faster in warmer places. For example, think about a cup of water standing on a table. It might take a week or two for all the water to evaporate. But you could boil the same amount of water in a pot on the stove. It would turn to vapor in minutes.
3 Plants get water from the soil. The water moves from the roots up to the stems. It winds up in the leaves. From the leaves, some of the water evaporates into the air. Where there are many plants and trees, like in forests, a large amount of water transpires into the air.
4 When the water cools, it becomes clouds. This is called condensation. Clouds are made of tiny droplets of water. When they gather in the sky, you can see the droplets in the form of clouds.
Types of Clouds
5 Stratus clouds are very thick. They are flat clouds that stay close to the ground. If stratus clouds touch the ground, they are known as fog.
6 Cumulus clouds are big, white, and puffy. They are not very high in the sky. When these clouds fill up with rain, they might turn dark and gray.
7 Cirrus clouds are thin, wispy clouds. They are really high in the sky. These clouds can come after a storm.
8 When the droplets get too big to stay up in the sky, they fall back to the earth as rain and snow. This is called precipitation. There are several kinds of clouds. Certain kinds of clouds produce rain or snow. Once the water falls back to the earth, the water cycle process begins all over again.