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Video:How Do Clouds Form?

with Rachelle Oblack

Whether they are fluffy and white or grey and dreary, clouds have some similar characteristics that help them form. See how clouds form in the air using a combination of key ingredients.See Transcript

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Transcript:How Do Clouds Form?

Cloud Ingredients

Clouds require key atmospheric ingredients to form such as:
•water
•dust particles;
•temperature or pressure changes

Clouds and Moisture

Air is always full of water. When you look into the sky and see a cloud,it is actually moisture you are seeing. Most of the time, water vapor in the air cannot be seen unless it collects and condenses to form a cloud.

How Clouds Form

Clean air will not produce clouds without super saturation. Luckily, Mother Nature and humans put lots of Cloud Condensation Nuclei or dust into the atmosphere.This dust comes from sources such as volcanoes, cars, sea spray from the ocean, and fires. Other particles in the atmosphere, including bacteria, can also play a role in serving as condensation nuclei. When temperatures or pressures decrease, cold air causes a rapid condensation of gaseous water vapor into liquid water. Once the stage is set, cloud formation happens as water coalesces.

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