Do you know what the 3 states of water are in clouds?
In meteorology, these 3 states of water are seen as weather events known as:
- Hail (a solid)
- Rain (a liquid)
- Water Vapor (a gas)
Clouds definitely play a very important role in those 3 states of water.
Clouds, snow, and rain are all made of up of some form of water. A cloud is comprised of tiny water droplets and/or ice crystals, a snowflake is an aggregate of many ice crystals, and rain is just liquid water. Source
Sizes Of Raindrops
Did you know that raindrops come in different sizes?
The size of raindrops has a lot to do with how many other rain drops the single raindrop meets while still in the air.
Every time a raindrop meets another, they combine and get bigger, until the single drop gets too big to stay intact as one.
Raindrops can fall even when the ground-level relative humidity is lower than 100%.
Interestingly, some storms may be so quick, the ground-level relative humidity may not even reach 100%!
Reading Storm Clouds
So, what are the sizes and colors of clouds telling us?
Well, cloud sizes and cloud colors always mean something very specific to meteorologists. For example, large, towering clouds tend to mean rain and even strong storms may soon be on the way.
Many of us encounter storm clouds that look quite a bit more frightening than your typical dark cumulonimbus cloud!
Storm clouds can look pretty dramatic at times. The storm clouds in this video are some massive super cell storms that definitely mean business:
While the photos are amazing, personally I’m glad I wasn’t the one who had to be near those storms to take those shots!
While it was rather difficult to know where storms were coming from and where they were going decades ago, technology — like weather radar — has allowed us to track storms with terrific accuracy.
Not only do weather stations across the country use radar in their everyday forecasting, thanks to the advent of the Internet, many of these weather stations have allowed us to tap into these radars and see for ourselves what the weather is like and what it may be doing next.
Here are all the best places to track storms online.
Incredible Storm Photography
We have storm chasers to thank for much of the storm photography we all enjoy looking at within the safety of our homes.
From the ominous and towering mesocyclones to the dangerous tornadoes and impending hurricanes, storm chasers and adventurous shutter bugs alike have captured thousands of storms on film for us.
So where are all these images? Many are in books, others belong in the private libraries and vaults of scientists, meteorologists, and libraries across the nation. But, thankfully, countless storm photos call the internet home!
Take a look and enjoy all of the storm photography at websites like:
- Cookie Labs
- Extreme Instability
- Jim Reed Storm Photography
- Light Stalking
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Photos
- Picture Correct
I'm a weather geek from Florida who's been studying meteorology and watching weather patterns for years! I enjoy sharing little-known facts and fun stuff about the weather. I especially like sharing interesting details about weather events and conditions that can affect you… and how to prepare for Mother Nature's ever-changing weather patterns.