All those fluffy cumulus clouds are much heavier than you might think, but a thunderhead makes them look light in comparison.
Clouds are made up of huge numbers of small droplets and ice particles that are so light and small, they are not affected by gravity and manage to float in the sky.
What Is The Weight Of Clouds?
Clouds will easily weigh millions of pounds because they contain vast amounts of tiny droplets of water and ice.
Cumulus clouds are the clouds that most people are familiar with. The average weight of these puffy white clouds is 1.1 million pounds (500,000 kg).
That’s the weight of a loaded Airbus A380 passenger jet!
Thunderheads, or storm clouds which most of us know them as, are up to 10 times denser and many times larger than cumulus clouds.
What Does Thunderheads Weigh?
The average thunderstorm cloud will weigh around 563,200,000 pounds (256,000,000 kg)!
The process of precipitation changes the form of these droplets and ice particles, eventually returning to the ground in the form of mist, rain, sleet, hail or snow
How High Do Clouds Appear In The Sky?
Clouds can be split into 3 specific categories and 10 cloud types, based on how high they appear in the sky
1st level of clouds is low level clouds, which exist below 6,000 feet (1,829 meters) and include cumulus, stratus, nimbostratus, and stratocumulus.
2nd level clouds are found between 6,500 and 20,000 feet (1,981 to 6,096 meters) and include altocumulus, nimbostratus, and altostratus.
3rd level clouds appearing above 20,000 feet, also known as high clouds, include cirrus, cirrocumulus, and cirrostratus.
The World Meteorological Organization’s International Cloud Atlas estimates that there are more than one hundred different types of clouds!
Predicting the weather has always been a difficult task for weather forecasters. However, during the Chinese Olympics in 2008, the hosts took things into their own hands and used cloud seeding to prevent rain from ruining the opening ceremony at Beijing’s Olympic Stadium.
Rain was expected on the day of the opening ceremony and it’s believed the Olympic organizers managed to make it rain a day earlier by firing 1,100 rockets containing a chemical called silver iodide into the sky, which speeded up precipitation and led to a cloud-free opening ceremony the day after!