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Posted by on Oct 9, 2015 in Tell Me Why |

Why Do Clouds Change Shapes?

Why Do Clouds Change Shapes?

Clouds change their shapes because parts of clouds evaporate when they come into contact with warmer air. A cloud is a mass of condensed water vapor — in the form of tiny drops of water or of ice crystals — that floats on currents of cool air.

When a cloud touches warmer air, some of its moisture evaporates. Later, moisture droplets may form in another part of the cloud. So the cloud changes shape as it gains and loses moisture.

On a windy day, the wind may stretch clouds out or lift them higher, or it may break them up into smaller clouds. No two clouds are exactly alike, and they keep on changing their shapes.

Height and temperature are the reason we have different types of clouds. Clouds are com­posed of different particles, depending on their height and temperature. The highest clouds are called “noctilucent” clouds. They are about as high as 30 to 50 miles.

The next highest are called “nacreous” clouds. They are 12 to 18 miles high. They are very thin, with beauti­ful color composed of dust or water drops, and they can only be seen after sunset, at night, or before sunrise.

Content for this question contributed by Karrie Murphy, resident of Wilbraham, Hampden County, Massachusetts, USA