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.Continue Reading
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
Cirrocumulus clouds are composed of supercooled water droplets and form through shallow convection within thin labile layers of air. These high-altitude clouds form between 16,600 and 30,000 feet.Full Answer >
Snow occurs when water droplets in clouds freeze, and these droplets then act as a nucleus onto which molecules of water vapor adhere, forming larger ice crystals. Once the growing snowflake is too heavy for the movement of air in the clouds to support, it falls to the ground. Snow can form in any clouds that are below freezing temperature but only does so under the right conditions.Full Answer >
Like all clouds, stratus clouds are made of water vapor, water droplets and even ice crystals. Stratus clouds are identified not by what they are composed of, but by their general appearance, which is uniform, wide-ranging and gray.Full Answer >
According to Met Office, clouds form when water vapor in the air condenses into tiny drops of water or ice crystals that then settle on dust particles in the atmosphere. Condensation happens when the air is saturated and cannot hold any more water vapor; this can occur when the amount of water in the air increases or when the air is cooled to its dew point.Full Answer >