ALTOONA, Pa. (WTAJ) — In this episode of Science with Shields, Christy Shields shows you how to make a rain cloud.
What you need:
- Shaving Cream
- Food coloring
Fill a glass half way with water. The water will represent our air. Next, put a bit of shaving cream on top to look like a cloud. (The less shaving cream you use, the quicker this will work) The shaving cream will be the cloud. Next, Put a few drops of food coloring on the shaving cream cloud. The food coloring represents the rain. Watch how it takes a while for the food coloring to make it through the cloud and “rain” below!
This is more of an activity to visualize how rain works compared to an experiment. Clouds can hold over 500 tons of water! A storm cloud (cumulonimbus cloud) can have over a million tons of water! When it rains, what happens is that there is so much moisture and water in a cloud, it gets heavy and the rain falls from the cloud. We call this precipitation. This is a section of the water cycle. To form a cloud, you need water to evaporate from the ground into the sky, next it will condense and go from water to a vapor. When you get precipitation, that is when it goes from condensation back to a liquid and falls as precipitation!
On average, if the cloud is 2,500 feet above the ground, an average raindrop falls at the speed of 14 mph. This means it would take about 2 minutes for the raindrop to fall from the cloud to the ground. Also, raindrops are actually spherical in shape and not a tear drop shape we typically think of!
Check out more Science with Shields episodes on WTAJ Plus.