Kindergarten scholars from Finn Academy were featured in this week’s Weather Wisdom. In the third group, Calianne Haskins asked, “why are cumulus clouds fluffy? “
Let’s start with what is a cumulus cloud. Here is an example of one. They have flat bases and grow upward, sometimes looking like floating cotton or have the appearance of being fluffy. These clouds form when air is heated at the surface and lifts into the atmosphere. During this process, water vapor cools and condenses on particles into tiny water droplets. This process continues and water droplets begin to accumulate upwards. This is how we get the appearance of heaps or fluffy clouds.
These are often called fair weather clouds, but if conditions allow, they can grow into cumulonimbus clouds which produce showers and thunderstorms.