CLOUD FAST FACTS:
- Clouds consist of water vapor droplets and when temperatures drop these droplets condense and form precipitation.
- Clouds are actually super heavy! An average cumulus cloud can weigh as much as a hundred elephants or a million pounds.
- Clouds seem to float because the water vapor droplets, spread out over an entire cloud, are not heavy enough to fall. It is not until the vapor droplets condense into drops, that they fall to the ground as precipitation.
- A drop of water may contain a million water vapor droplets.
- There are over 100 types of clouds, which can be classified into 4 basic types: Stratus, Cumulus, Cirrus and Nimbus
BASIC CLOUD TYPES:
Sometimes you get a combination of cloud types like “cumulonimbus” or “cirrostratus”. These names come from how high they are in the sky, temperatures and moisture levels. A typical thunderstorm comes from a cumulonimbus, for example.
There are many other combinations and details about clouds, but if you start with the simple, basic cloud types, you are well on your way. Here is a cloud finder chart, to help you out, too.
Print it off, cut out the center and hold it up to the sky to help determine what clouds you are seeing. Enjoy and have fun learning about clouds.