Students from the Summer Cohesion Program at Parley Coburn Elementary School were featured in this week’s Weather Wisdom. Zachariah asked, “How do clouds change from white to gray?”
Different types of clouds are made up of different characteristics such as shape, size and even color. Storm clouds, or cumulonimbus clouds, turn gray while evolving. On the other hand, fair-weather cumulus clouds start out as a light white color.
Cumulonimbus clouds often grow from small cumulus clouds over a hot surface. This process involves warm and moist air that rises, cooling as it does so. Small water droplets begin to form- also known as condensation. If this happens repeatedly, and other instability factors come into play, a thunderstorm will form. That’s when we get a tall billowing cloud. These clouds are usually darker shades of gray as they are holding more moisture.