Clouds move because they are carried by wind. The speed, direction and strength of wind all influence cloud movement. Heavy clouds can remain still even with strong wind.Continue Reading
The speed of wind increases with altitude and decreases closer to the ground. All levels of the atmosphere have wind. Clouds occurring at an altitude of approximately 30,000 feet move very quickly because of the high speed of wind at this level. Fast-moving winds at high altitudes are called jet streams. This wind causes clouds to move up to 175 mph. Clouds normally appear white because of shining sunlight. Thick clouds obscure sunlight, causing them to appear gray or dark.
Cloud movement also influences the weather of a specific location. Clouds are made of tiny water droplets and fall to the ground in the form of snow or rain. Clouds form due to water evaporation from water masses, such as lakes, oceans, ponds and rivers. Clouds move to higher altitudes due to pressure differences. Clouds at varying altitudes can move in different directions, and they have different cooling and warming effects. Cloud movement and appearance are used to predict global warming, or climate change. Meteorologists use satellites to track cloud movement in order to forecast the weather.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 >
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 >
Clouds float because they possess less density than the air around them. Clouds are composed of tiny water droplets and ice crystals that are only a few microns in radius, too small to develop any appreciable fall velocity.Full Answer >
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 >