How Much do Clouds Weigh?

By Anupum Pant

Oh clouds! Yes, the ones that seem like feather light cotton candies floating high up in the sky. They actually can contain huge amounts of water and can weigh as much as a jumbo jet!

Cumulus clouds which are typically a kilometre in width can contain about 500 tonnes of water, or could weigh as much as 100 elephants or 2,500 donkeys. And yet, it stays floating up there. How!?

Clouds have water distributed in form of innumerable tiny droplets across a huge space. For example, their usual density is equivalent to a teaspoon of water spread out in a volume of a small closet. Or about half gram per centimetre cube. They are so less dense that they are lighter than air. So they float up in air like a ball full of air would float on water.

Once the density of water starts increasing in a cloud, and the millions of tiny water particles start combining, they start forming relatively heavier droplets that ultimately fall out of the cloud. This comes down in the form of rain.

If you like that you’d probably also like raining frogs.

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