How Are Clouds Formed?

I really like clouds, I think they are possibly the most interesting and beautiful of all weather phenomena in the world.
As a child, I learned how clouds are formed in school but it has been so long that I forgot all about it.
Today my son asked me about it so I'm curious about this specific phenomena now.
Can you explain how are clouds formed?

asked by Janette in Science | 3794 views | 07-20-2009 at 12:03 AM

Clouds are formed when air containing water vapor is cooled below a critical temperature called the dew point and the resulting moisture condenses into droplets on microscopic dust particles (condensation nuclei) in the atmosphere.

answered by Kiki | 07-20-2009 at 12:04 AM

Here's a drawing that explains it:

Clouds form when water evaporates from rivers, ponds, oceans, and lakes. The air containing this evaporated water vapor rises and expands at higher altitudes where the air pressure is lower. The expanding air cools, and as this cooling occurs, the water vapor condenses (changes) from a vapor to a liquid. Many tiny water droplets form and a cloud is born.

A variety of cloud types form depending upon their height, air movement, and the amount of water vapor and condensation particles.

answered by Mez | 07-20-2009 at 12:06 AM

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