Weather Whys

What are clouds made of?


A cloud is a visible mass of condensed water droplets or ice crystals, says Brent McRoberts of Texas A&M University.


“These droplets or crystals are suspended in the Earth’s atmosphere,” McRoberts explains. “Water vapor forms tiny droplets of water or ice crystals, and when these are surrounded by billions of other droplets or crystals, they become visible as clouds. Clouds form when moist air rises and cools, causing water vapor to condense into liquid droplets. Clouds can also form near warm and cold fronts, near the slopes of mountains or when cool air blows over the surface of warm water.”


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