Clouds are water droplets remaining in the air, formed by the condensation or re-sublimation of water vapor.

There are 10 main types of clouds.

Clouds interesting facts

1. The largest clouds may be over 18 km thick.

2. By observing the behavior of the clouds, you can accurately predict the weather for just the next three hours.

3. Cumulonimbus is the most dangerous type of cloud (storm cloud). Its diameter often exceeds 10 km and reaches 15 km in height. When you see it in the sky, you should look for a safe haven.

4. Scientists are constantly trying to understand what causes the drops to start to merge at any given moment. At the moment, it is not possible to accurately predict when it will start raining from the rain cloud.

5. At an altitude of 15-25 km, there are stratospheric clouds in the polar regions.

Added: Tomasz

6. There are different kinds of clouds on every planet in the solar system.

7. On Venus, the clouds are made of sulfuric acid droplets. They are so dense that they hardly let any solar radiation pass through them.

8. There are clouds made of ammonia on Saturn and Jupiter.

9. There are methane clouds on Neptune and Uranus.

Added: AstroFan

10. Clouds can travel at speeds over 150 km/h.

11. According to NASA observations, clouds cover about 67% of the Earth’s surface at any given time.

12. The most frequently clouded regions of the Earth are the middle latitudes and the equatorial area.

13. The highest, extremely rare clouds form at an altitude of about 60 km. They are so small that they cannot be seen with the naked eye.

Added: CK

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Clouds questions and answers

How do clouds stay in the air?

Clouds stay in the air thanks to the phenomenon of microturbulation, which prevents gravitational subsidence. Clouds are very heavy but consist of individual droplets which maintains air resistance.

Answer: Marta

How much do the clouds weigh?

There are several grams of water in 1 cubic meter of cloud. It seems to be little, but let’s remember about their enormous size. There may be hundreds of thousands of tons of water in the clouds covering the entire visible sky. Storm clouds over 10 km in diameter can have a volume of over 900 billion cubic meters. Its weight may exceed 4 billion tons.

Answer: Kasia

When does it begin to rain from the cloud?

It is when small parts of the condensed vapor merge into larger droplets, which fall to the ground under gravity.

Answer: Marta

Why do white clouds turn black?

The darker the cloud, the more water it has accumulated to trap the sun’s rays.

Answer: Marta

How can clouds be divided?

One of the methods of cloud division is:

  • height of occurrence (high, medium, low clouds),
  • shape (pinnate, layered, cumulus clouds),
  • internal structure (clouds with a horizontal extent, extended vertically),
  • way of creation (wave clouds, convection clouds, front clouds)

Answer: Marta

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