"How do clouds form?"- Gianna Figeroa from Gulf Elementary
Clouds are one part of the water cycle which is a very complex system where water is in constant movement within Earth's atmosphere.
The sun heats liquid water sources on land including the ocean, rivers, and even groundwater. This causes the water to evaporate and turn into water vapor which is water in a gaseous form. The water vapor rises into the atmosphere where it condenses because of the cooler temperatures. If it's cold enough, the water droplets may even freeze.
Other droplets in the atmosphere will start to merge together through a process called collision, and this will eventually turn that small water droplet into a much larger droplet. The droplets inside of the cloud become so heavy that they start to fall giving us rain. Below is a weather experiment that gives step-by-step instructions on creating your own cloud at home.
This is just one small part of the water cycle that results in various types of clouds and precipitation. Want to put your cloud formation knowledge to the test? Click here to take an online quiz.