Are the clouds too heavy?

2023-09-17 2023-09-17T12:45:23Z
ندى ماهر عبدربه
ندى ماهر عبدربه
صانع مُحتوى

ArabiaWeather - Do you think that clouds are thin, soft and light like cotton? That's the common perception, isn't it?

But this is not the reality. According to information from the US Geological Survey, the average weight of a cloud is about 500 thousand kilograms. Hence the question: How can clouds remain suspended in the sky, without falling to the ground? But first, let's learn about how clouds form.

 

How are clouds formed?

Answer: When warm air laden with water vapor rises into the atmosphere, it does so because it is lighter in density than the air surrounding it. Wind also plays a role in the upward flow of water-vapor-laden air. The condensation process is the next step after the evaporation process, as temperatures decrease at high altitudes due to a decrease in atmospheric pressure, which leads to the air expanding and its temperature decreasing.

Low atmospheric pressure makes the air unable to absorb the full amounts of water vapor it contains.

Air laden with water vapor continues to rise until it reaches a certain height where its temperature is low enough to begin the condensation process. Cloud formation requires the presence of fine particles known as condensate nuclei, which are small floating particles found in the atmosphere such as fine dust, smoke, sea salts and other materials. These molecules help water vapor condense into liquid droplets or ice crystals.

The process of condensation continues to form clouds, and it is worth noting that water vapor in the atmosphere is not visible, and clouds only become visible when water vapor condenses and forms.

 

 

How can clouds remain suspended in the sky, without falling to the ground?

Answer: Just as oil floats on water; Since the density of oil is less than that of water, the same happens for warm air loaded with very small water droplets. Warm air loaded with small droplets is denser than dry air, and this means that the cloud will not fall to the ground; Because the air beneath them is heavier than them, so the clouds float in the sky.

What keeps the cloud warm and less dense than dry air is the continuous condensation process inside it. When the vapor condenses and turns into very small water droplets inside the cloud, heat is generated. This means that the cloud is constantly self-heating, and maintains its low density, which allows it to remain high in the air. The sky is similar to a hot air balloon.

Although the weight of the cloud is very large, the density of the dry air beneath it keeps it floating in the sky. Therefore, we can say that clouds are a magical natural phenomenon that adds beauty to the Earth's sky, without being too heavy.

 


Sources:

livescience

mawdoo3

Al Jazeera Documentary

This article was written originally in Arabic and is translated using a 3rd party automated service. ArabiaWeather is not responsible for any grammatical errors whatsoever.
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