Cumulonimbus clouds produce thunderstorms, blizzards, torrential rain, hailstorms and tornadoes. Though they have a low base, these clouds are very deep, and they can extend miles into the atmosphere.Know More
These clouds are so tall that though they're made of water droplets in their lower levels and made of ice crystals near the top. They are so dense that they are dark and menacing when viewed from the ground. This is because light is scattered by the many water and ice droplets in the cloud as it passes through.
A cumulonimbus cloud is created when convection currents interact with unstable air. Warm, moist air rises into the cloud, which leads to condensation and more warming. This contributes to fierce updraft currents. The ice crystals at the top of the cloud fall down through the cloud to create downdraft currents. These emerge from the bottom of the cloud as strong wind, which cools the air in the updrafts. Eventually this convection system stops, and the cloud finally decays.
However, in the act of decaying, the cumulonimbus cloud can release all its moisture in an intense storm. In other instances, the updrafts and downdrafts can separate and produce a supercell. This can produce a tornado.Learn more in Clouds
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Clouds form when warm, moist air rises into the upper atmosphere, where the cooler temperatures cause the water to condense. Depending on the altitude, clouds may be made up of water droplets or ice crystals, and these often form around floating motes of dust or other particles. When too much moisture condenses, the droplets or crystals become too heavy to stay aloft, falling as snow or rain.Full Answer >
Clouds float because the water droplets that comprise them are so incredibly tiny that they do not fall very fast. As clouds frequently occur in places that are experiencing updrafts, the force of the air pushing them up offsets the weight of the water droplets. In a cloud of typical size, the water droplets often weigh approximately 1/1000th as much as the air that containing them does.Full Answer >
Cumulus clouds, which are generally the largest, can weigh in excess of 1 million pounds. This figure comes from a relatively simple density calculation involving the average volume of the cloud times the known density of water within it.Full Answer >