Sat. Jul 20th, 2019

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how much do clouds weigh

How much do clouds weigh? Simple enough question with a simple enough answer, right? It should be practically nothing, after all they are floating high up in the sky. But the answer is not as simple as many would believe, and they weigh a lot, a real lot. Clouds weigh so much in fact that it would take a hell of a lot of freight trains to equal the weight.

All clouds contain water vapor. The most common type of cloud is the cumulus cloud. They are the ones that appear to be cotton like or puffy. These clouds rarely produce any precipitation, yet they are full of water. So we will use this most common cloud as the basis of the question, how much do clouds weigh?

How much does a cloud weigh?

Prepare for a truly shocking revelation. The average cumulus cloud weighs about 1 million tons. That’s million. Or if you prefer, 1 billion kilograms or 2.2 billion pounds. That’s about the same as 6,200 blue whales or 50 freight trains! But how is it possible that something so soft and fluffy that floats in the air weigh so much?

The cumulus clouds contain about 1,000,000 cubic meters of drops. It’s when all of these drops are weighed up together that you get such a heavy weight. What keeps them aloft is that the water droplets are less dense than the air, and it thus keeps them aloft about 2 kilometres above the ground.

Obviously all clouds weigh different amounts depending on their size and water content. The figures we have provided are approximate figures for the most common type of cloud in the sky.

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