How much does a cloud weigh?

Air Phenomena Read more from
Chapter Climate and Weather

Although they look light and fluffy floating in the sky, clouds actually consist of water droplets and are heavy. A one cubic kilometer (1 km3 meaning 1 km X 1 km X 1 km or 0.6 miles X 0.6 miles X 0.6 miles) cumulus cloud has an estimated weight of 2.211 billion pounds (1.003 billion kilograms). Clouds float because they are suspended on dry air. An equal volume (1 km3) of dry air weighs 2.220 billion pounds (1.007 billion kilograms). Dry air has a density of 1.007 kilograms/cubic meter while the density of the moist cloud is 1.003 kilograms/cubic meter. Clouds float because they are less dense than the drier air.


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