Clouds are made up of ice crystals and droplets of water. These form when water evaporates from bodies of water, such as the oceans. Once water reaches higher altitudes in the atmosphere, it becomes liquid and solid.Know More
Heat from the sun causes water to evaporate. Once the evaporated water, called water vapor, reaches higher altitudes where temperatures are cooler, it becomes liquid water again. At even higher altitudes, the air becomes colder, and ice crystals form instead of liquid water. Clouds form when the water droplets or ice crystals become large enough to be seen.
Droplets and ice crystals move and bump into one another, forming larger water droplets and ice crystals. When these droplets and crystals become heavy enough, they fall to the ground as precipitation.Learn more about Clouds
Clouds are white because the size of their ice crystals or water droplets is big enough to scatter the seven wavelengths of sunlight that produces white light. With all of the colors dispersed, the human eye perceives the complete color spectrum, which combines to make the color of clouds white.Full Answer >
Altocumulus clouds are midlevel clouds that often presage cold fronts in temperate climates. The bottoms of these clouds can be found around 6,500 to 13,000 feet in the polar regions, and up to 20,000 feet in the tropics.Full Answer >
Clouds can be measured by the height and appearance of the shape to determine weather conditions. Scientists often use a device, such as the micropulse lidar or infrared thermometer to determine a cloud's altitude and height.Full Answer >
Clouds move due to wind currents that carry them through the lower levels of Earth's atmosphere. Even if there is no wind felt at ground level, wind constantly blows through the atmosphere carrying clouds, air particles and dust with it.Full Answer >