How much does the cloud weigh: much or little?

How much does the cloud weigh? Such a question arises from time to time when you look at the bottomless heavenly heights, in which clouds float slowly, like fairy-tale characters. Since ancient times, being admired, these accumulations of water are associated with softness, serenity, peace. What is this heavenly structure? How is it formed? How much does the cloud weigh?

This question people began to be interested in since the end of the 18th century. The most inquisitive of them in search of an answer to the question "What is the weight of the cloud?" On balloons rushed up and looked at the heavenly formations closer. The first theoretical knowledge about the nature of clouds was obtained after climbing the mountain peaks.

What is a cloud?

Clouds called particles of water vapor and vapors that have risen up from the surface of rivers, seas, oceans and other water bodies are called clouds. Rushing ever higher to the cold layers of the atmosphere, they undergo a process of condensation: they are cooled and converted into spheres, crystals or droplets (depending on the ambient temperature). So, for the formation of drops a temperature index of -11 ... -16 о С is sufficient; Air vapors are crystallized at lower temperatures.

How much does the cloud weigh?

As a rule, the formation of clouds occurs in the troposphere, the distance to which from the earth's surface is 6-7 kilometers. The highest are crystalline clouds - at an altitude of 70-75 km.

How much does the cloud weigh? The photo originally conveys the apparent lightness and airiness of this huge white formation, to determine the mass of which it is enough to know:

• The height at which the condensation occurs;
• The amount of rising air participating in the above process.

The lower the cloud to the ground, the greater the weight is characterized. Drops of water can not keep in the low-lying layers of the atmosphere for a long period and descend to the ground in the form of rain.

How much does the cloud weigh? Approximate weight of one cumulus cloud in volume of 1 cu. Km, clearly visible in the sky in good weather, is about 500 tons. The storm cloud is 25 times heavier than the feathery, reminiscent of white shreds or the finest threads, connected together. The perimeter cloud consists of crystals of different sizes, which, with a gust of wind, are easily separated from the main mass. They occur at an altitude of 5-9 km.

The most massive are cirrus-cumulus clouds. Dwell at an altitude of 10-12 km, occupying a small space horizontally; Vertically they can rise up to sometimes 15-16 km. It is for this type of cloud that the storm approach is predicted.

Why do not the clouds fall?

It is surprising that such huge masses quietly swim in the sky and do not fall on our heads. Why? Because they are formed by ascending air currents, characterized by high high pressure, than water drops. Therefore, they do not settle, but quietly float in the unknown distance and drop out onto the ground with rain, as soon as the air that has risen will cool. But the water beforehand in the cloud must freeze. At low temperature, the sky showered the earth with snow or hail; At warm temperature - rain mass. As falling down drops of frozen water melt.

So how much does an average cloud weigh? The approximate mass of one celestial unit, which every inhabitant of the planet can admire, is about 10 tons.

How much does the cloud weigh in elephants?

In ancient times, and even today, the mass of clouds was measured in elephants. For example, the weight of a single cirrus cloud is about 100 elephants, and a thunderstorm cloud, whose distance from the base to the summit is about 10 km, is 200 thousand elephants.

If it were possible to extract water from a cubic meter of a storm cloud and weigh it, it would appear that one hurricane weighs 40 million elephants. This is 26 times the real number of these animals that live on Earth. Such an incredible amount of weight is divided between tiny droplets of water and ice crystals, the largest of which is 0.2 mm in cross section.

It is interesting that the formation of clouds occurs with the obligatory participation of dust, to the particles of which droplets adhere, subsequently forming a cloud. By itself, water vapor can not form such a floating mass.

How many clouds live?

Clouds have a certain lifespan, directly depending on the atmospheric humidity of the air. If its indicator is low, the celestial formations will begin to evaporate, sometimes existing in the vast blue spaces only a quarter of an hour. At high humidity, the probability of precipitation increases, which at times prolongs the life of the cloud.

By the way, clouds exist not only on Earth. Similar air-droplet masses were detected on Venus, Mars, Saturn-Titan satellite, and Neptune-Tritone satellite. On these planets, the nature of the clouds is completely different and is explained by the surrounding conditions. So, on Venus, the basis of such formations is sulfuric acid.