The hydrologic cycle is a movement of water on, above and below the surface of the Earth. There are four main stages in the water cycle. They are evaporation, condensation, precipitation and collection. Let's look at each of these stages. Evaporation: This is when warmth from the sun causes water from oceans, lakes, streams, ice and soils to rise into the air and turn into water vapor. The conditions through which water passes from vapor in the atmosphere through precipitation upon land or water surfaces and ultimately back into the atmosphere as a result of evaporation and transpiration which is called also hydrological cycle.