Even though a cloud seems to float in air, both the air and the cloud have mass and weight. Clouds float in the sky because they are less dense than air, yet it turns out they weigh a lot., and how much? About a million pounds!
The average cumulus, or fair-weather, cloud (which is photographed here) has been determined by researchers to weigh 1.1 million pounds. Though, not every cloud is created equal. A cloud with less water droplets, such as a high, wispy cirrus cloud, weighs less than a cumulus cloud.
How much weight can a cloud hold?
The total mass of the cloud particles is about 1 million kilograms, which is roughly equivalent to the weight of 500 automobiles. But the total mass of the air in that same cubic kilometer is about 1 billion kilograms–1,000 times heavier than the liquid!
Clouds will easily weigh millions of pounds because they contain vast amounts of tiny droplets of water and ice. Cumulus clouds are the clouds that most people are familiar with. The average weight of these puffy white clouds is 1.1 million pounds (500,000 kg). That’s the weight of a loaded Airbus A380 passenger jet!
Another frequent inquiry is “What does the average cloud weigh?”.
One source claimed assuming the weight of air as 1.225 kg/m³LWC values for different clouds based on the above tableAssuming the volume occupied by water droplets is negligible.
One cloud weighs as much as 100 elephants! Clouds appear to float so effortlessly in the sky that one would think that they are weightless. However, this is actually far from the case. A single cumulus cloud weighs 1.1 million pounds on average. To put this into perspective, that is equal to the weight of about 100 elephants or 2,500 donkeys!
Where these low clouds are, the air weighs around one kilogram for every cubic metre – 4,000 times more than the water did. Given the volume of our cumulus cloud, that’s 1 billion kg, or one million tonnes. That is why the cloud can stay up in the air – the tiny water drops are held up by all that air.
How do you calculate the weight of a cloud?
There are 3 methods that are typical: Condensation, for creation, or vaporization, for destruction, of clouds. This should be used if clouds are created or destroyed, by condensing / vaporizing the water that makes up the cloud. Kinetic energy for moving of clouds, or convective available potential energy (cape) for creation of storms too are a couple more ideas to think about.
Another common query is “How do scientists weigh clouds?”.
Next, you can use the density of a cloud to find its mass: Density = Mass / Volume0.5 grams per cubic meter = x / 1,000,000,000 cubic meters500,000,000 grams = mass.
How does the charge of a cloud develop?
In the collisions, electrons are ripped off the rising droplets, causing a separation of negative electrons from a positively charged water droplet or a cluster of droplets. Thus, the charge development occurs as the cloud grows bigger.
The friction of the air, tiny water and ice particles in the cloud, causes a polarisation with, often, the negative charge at the base, and positive, at the t I suppose that clouds get negatively charged when they read the news in the papers !
How do clouds get charged?
The water molecules inadvertently will collide with each other, rub against each other, and strip electrons, which is what electricity is: electrons. The cloud will become charged with the accumulation of charges, positively charged on the top, negatively charged on the bottom. The ground is positively charged as well.
How do clouds form electricity for lightning?
How is the energy stored? Is it dynamically generated? Chris – The answer is we don’t 100% know. Clouds are made of billions of tiny particles, ice crystals. They’re called hydrometeors and these particles rub against each other in the cloud because the clouds are full of big currents of air.
This part of the thunderstorm cloud is called the anvil. While this is the main charging process for the thunderstorm cloud, some of these charges can be redistributed by air movements within the storm (updrafts and downdrafts).