What is the water cycle? The water cycle is where water circulates between the earth's oceans, atmosphere, and land.
The first 4 stages of the water cycle are EVAPORATION, CONDENSATION, PRECIPITATION, and COLLECTION.
The first step is Evaporation. Evaporation is when warmth from the sun causes water from oceans, lakes, streams, ice, and soil to rise into the air and turn into water vapor. Water vapor droplets join together to make clouds. Usually the weather is warm when evaporation occurs.
The next step is Condensation. Condensation is when water vapor in the air cools down and turns back into liquid water. That's usually when it rains.
Next is Precipitation, precipitation is when water in the form of rain, snow, hail, or sleet falls from clouds in the sky.
The final step is Collection. Collection is when water that falls from the clouds as rain, snow, hail, or sleet collects in oceans, rivers, lakes, and streams. Most will infiltrate (soak into) the ground and will collect as underground water.