A Happy Cloud Weighs How Much?

Ok, I know this is a trick.{ } Well, not really.{ } A fair weather cumulus cloud such as we saw{ }yesterday . . . those "happy" clouds.... weigh about 100 thousand tons!!{ }

Cumulus Clouds

Even a big bull elephant weighs "only" about 5 tons or 10,000 pounds.{ } So what keeps all those elephants in the sky?{ } As you've guessed, a cloud is not quite as dense as an elephant.{ } An elephant, just like us, is primarily water and a cubic foot of elephant is about 60 pounds.{ }

Elephant.... This Is How Much A Cumulus Cloud Weighs???

But a cubic foot of cloud is mainly just air, but contains millions of microscopic droplets of water weighing only a few millionths of a pound.{ } The sun warms the earth and, as the day progresses such as yesterday, rising bubbles of air, even with just a little moisture, form those fluffy cumulus clouds.{ } The sunlight reflected or scattered off those microscopic droplets gives the clouds the white color and a bit gray on the bottoms, or bases, where the sun doesn't really shine so to speak.{ }

You can't really see those rising bubbles of air, but you can see large soaring birds, like hawks and vultures, slowly circling and rising in the bubbles or "thermals".{ }{ }{ }

{ }

{ }

{ }{ }(A) Cumulus(1) warm surface { }(2) rising thermal (3) sinking cool air

{ }Now imagine if an elephant could have the wingspan of one of those soaring birds . . .maybe elephants could fly.{ }{ }Today, heavy clouds with the rain coming our way, but if the forecast works out, look for those 20,000 elephant versions back with us on Friday.

{ }

{ }

{ }