The sun heats the earth's surface during the day.
The heat accumulates on the surface and
warms the air around it. Since warm air
is lighter than cool air, it starts to rise (known as an updraft). If the
air is moist, then the warm air condenses into a cumulus cloud. The
continue to grow in height as long as warm air below it continues to
rise. The formation of a cumulus cloud takes only a few minutes.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!Cool It!
is the new card game from the Union of Concerned Scientists that teaches kids about the choices we have when it comes to climate change—and how policy and technology decisions made today will matter. Cool It! is available in our online store
You might also be interested in:
Most of the Earth's surface (70%) is covered with water, and the remaining 30% is taken up by the seven continental landmasses. However, underneath the water that fills the oceans, and the dirt and plants...more
Forked lightning occurs when a second lightning stroke doesn't follow the same path as the first lightning stroke. Thus, it appears forked....more
A stationary front typically forms from either a cold or warm front that has stopped moving. This happens when two air masses are pushing against each other but neither is powerful enough to move the other....more
A warm front is where a warm air mass is pushing into a colder air mass. Warm fronts move more slowly than cold fronts because it is more difficult for the warm air to move against the cold, dense air....more
A cold front is where a cold air mass is pushing into a warmer air mass. Cold fronts can produce dramatic changes in the weather. They move fast, up to twice as fast as a warm front. Cold air is dense...more
Sometimes a cold front follows right behind a warm front. A warm air mass pushes into a colder air mass (the warm front) and then another cold air mass pushes into the warm air mass (the cold front). Because...more
Clouds can come in all sizes and shapes, and can form near the ground or high in the atmosphere. Clouds are groups of tiny water droplets or ice crystals in the sky and are formed by different processes....more
A thunderstorm in the tropics can grow into a massive hurricane under certain conditions. Sometimes several tropical thunderstorms are able to organize, rotating around a central area of low pressure....more