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The sun warms ocean water and causes it to evaporate, becoming water vapor. This is the first stage of the water cycle.
The water vapor then cools, condensates, and becomes clouds.
The water vapor inside the clouds falls onto the surface of Earth in the form of rain, snow, sleet, or hail. This is called precipitation.
Water from the precipitation moves across land into the surface water. This is called runoff.
Infiltration happens when water moves down to go beneath the Earth's surface.
The cycle then begins again with evaporation.
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