Rain clouds form when clusters of water droplets and crystallized, frozen water accumulate at high altitudes, and gravity causes this condensed water to fall as rain. The average size of one of these cloud droplets is miniscule, but if the droplets contain enough water, white clouds turn into rain clouds. The influence of gravity causes a droplet to turn into a raindrop and fall to earth.
Clouds form via the process of evaporation and condensation. When the temperature is warm, molecules of water are agitated, expanding the distances between them. Water molecules then switch form between liquid and vapor phases. When this happens, molecules leave a body of water, such as a lake or an ocean, and become water vapor, which rises into the air. The water vapor rises high up to form clouds, which are essentially large masses of tiny water droplets and crystallized water molecules. If the clouds get thick enough or high enough, the light from above does not make it through, leading to the gray or dark look of a rain cloud.
Snow, sleet, hail and lightning are also produced by rain clouds. The different shapes and sizes of clouds depend on the weather conditions under which they were formed.Learn More
Precipitation occurs when moist air rises to cooler altitudes, condensing the water out of the air into droplets. Once these droplets become heavy enough, often by coalescing around motes of dust or other particles, they fall out of the cloud as precipitation. Without significant updrafts bringing more moisture to the cloud layer, the condensed water may remain light enough to stay aloft, which is why not every cloud brings rain.Full Answer >
Dark rain clouds are called stratus clouds. They are rainy, dense, dark or snowy clouds that sometimes appear as white cottony clumps surrounded by blue sky.Full Answer >
Cumulonimbus clouds, also known as thunderheads, release hail and rain in conjunction with updrafts. Ice crystals ride such updrafts into the air and then fall through the clouds, collecting water droplets as they drop. Once water droplets freeze onto ice crystals, hailstones are created. Cumulonimbus clouds release rain when they have reached their moisture saturation point.Full Answer >
The character Teofilo in the short story "The Man to Send Rain Clouds" by Leslie Marmon Silke is the old man who is found dead under the big cottonwood tree. He is also the title character of the story and a Native American. It is his funeral that causes the cultural conflict between the Native Americans and the young Catholic priest.Full Answer >