How do clouds form?

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(WTAJ) – Clouds form when warm moist air rises then cools and condenses into water vapor but, there needs to be one more ingredient for a cloud to form. That ingredient would be condensation nuclei.

So, what is a condensation nuclei?

Condensation nuclei are small particles suspended in the air. Most condensation nuclei come from natural and manmade fires and by waves. Some examples would be dust, sea-salt, and particulate matter from fires. These particles are needed for water vapor (gas) to condense into a liquid.

What happens next?

The sun heats the ground unevenly and this causes the air to warm unevenly. When a parcel of air becomes warmer than the air around it becomes unstable and begins to rise. As the air rises, it cools. For every 1,000 feet you climb in elevation you roughly cool 4 degrees. The air will continue to rise until it becomes the same temperature as it air around it. This is when the air becomes stable and will not rise anymore. This is where the water vapor collects but a condensation nuclei is needed for the water vapor to condense into a liquid.

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February 07 2021 06:30 pm

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