POSTED: Sunday, January 12, 2014 - 5:30pm
UPDATED: Sunday, January 12, 2014 - 5:58pm
How clouds form
BROWNSVILLE (NEWS CENTER 23) — Clouds are so interesting. Have you ever stared up at the sky and wondering how is it that they float all the way up there. I do, I actually day dream when I take the time to just look up at the sky, you can really get lost in thought.
Anyway, I wanted to share a little bit about how clouds form. It's actually really neat.
Picture this, the bright, big, blue sky is obviously composed of air. And air contains water.
So you have this big, blue canvas of invisible water floating around, other wise known as water vapor. When warm air rises, it expands and cools. But because cool air can't hold as much water vapor as warm air, some of the vapor condenses into tiny pieces of dust that float in the air.
Tiny droplet around each dust particle begin to form and when billions of these droplets come together they become a visible cloud!
So why do they float?
Like we learned, a cloud is made up of tiny liquid water droplets, and it forms when the air is heated by the sun. As long as the cloud and the air that its made of is warmer than the outside air around it, it floats! Crazy isn't it!
Ok now that we know all of this, can we ever be caught inside a cloud? And the answer is....... YES!
Here is the science of it! Putting everything that we just learned together, let's start adding a little meteorology into it!
Have you heard about the dew point? Well the dew point, in the simplest of terms is the always lower than or equal to the air temperature.
Our temperature will never be lower than the dew point! But if the dew point rises to equal the air temperature, then that's when dew, fog or clouds begin to form.
Chances are you have experienced it. If you have ever been caught in fog, then you definitely know the feeling.
Cheesy but true!
One last interesting fact: When the dewpoint approaches 75 degrees F, most people can "feel" the thickness of the air as they breathe, usually happens around the beaches.
Because the water vapor content is so high, some people refer to it as soupy air.