Formation Of A Raindrop

The journey of a raindrop begins with a process called evaporation


  • The sun heats up water from oceans, lakes, rivers, and plants.
  • This heat causes the water to change from a liquid to a gas called water vapor, which rises into the air.

Rising Air:

  • As the water vapor rises, it encounters cooler temperatures at higher altitudes.
  • The cooler temperatures cause the water vapor to slow down and cluster together.


  • When the water vapor cools enough, it changes into tiny liquid water droplets. This process is called condensation.
  • These tiny droplets cling to particles in the air, such as dust, pollen, or smoke.

Cloud Formation: 

  • Millions of tiny water droplets gather together to form clouds.
  • Inside the cloud, tiny droplets combine to form larger droplets. When these droplets become too heavy to stay suspended, they fall to the ground due to gravity.


  • The falling droplets are what we see and feel as rain.

Duration Of A Raindrop’s Journey

The journey of a raindrop through the water cycle can vary greatly in duration. Let’s look at some factors that affect this duration:

Temperature: Warmer temperatures speed up evaporation.

Humidity: Higher humidity can slow down evaporation.

Climate: In dry climates, water may stay in the soil or as groundwater longer.

Human Activity: Irrigation, damming, and water usage can alter the natural cycle.

The entire cycle can be completed in days or take thousands of years. 

Fun Facts

Here are some interesting facts about the water cycle:

  • The water cycle is a global process. A raindrop could have traveled through oceans, rivers, and lakes before falling on you. 
  • The water you drink today could have been around since the time of the dinosaurs, constantly recycling through the water cycle.
  • The water cycle helps clean and filter water naturally, making it safe for plants, animals, and people to use.


Let’s quickly recap what we learned about the journey of a raindrop:

  • What causes the water vapor to slow down and begin to cluster together? Cooler Temperatures
  • What is the process through which water vapor changes back into liquid water droplets? Condensation
  • What are three natural factors that affect the duration of a raindrop’s journey? Temperature, Humidity and Climate
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