“This Is How Much a Cloud Weighs: ScienceAlert

Scientists have calculated that the average skin cloud – which is that beautiful, white fluffy kind you see on a sunny day – weighs an incredible 500,000 kg (or 11 million pounds! )

First, you need to realize that clouds are made up of many tiny water droplets, which means they must have some mass

The next step is to calculate how dense your cloud is

Scientists have found that the water density of this type of cloud is about 1/2 gram of water per cubic meter

So, as Matt Soniak writes on Mental Floss, that’s about a marble’s worth of water in a box big enough for you and a friend to sit in

Clearly, the density of other cloud types would be much higher, but let’s stick with the accumulation for now Once you figure out the density of the cloud, you need to figure out how big it is, a measurement that also varies widely

Peggy LeMone, who directed much of the cloud weighing research at the US National Center for Atmospheric Research, calculated that the average nodule is about a kilometer in diameter and roughly shaped like a cube, so it’s as tall as it is wide the math on that, and you have a cloud with a volume of one billion cubic meters

Or, as LeMone explained it to Soniak, think of it as 100 elephants

*Looks up nervously*For starters, this weight isn’t all in one point, it’s obviously spread over a huge space

Clouds are also composed of water droplets that are sometimes so small that gravity barely affects them

And because of condensation, the clouds are actually a rebellion Perhaps even more surprisingly, clouds are actually less dense than dry air, so it keeps them floating, as Soniak explains

Find out in the episode of It’s Okay To Be Smart below and never think about cloud the same way again

width=”700″ height=”414″ allowfullscreen=”allowfullscreen” seamless=”seamless”>Sources: Mental Floss, it’s okay to be smart

Scroll to Top