Weather is a constant in our environment. It is something you can observe and study with your children every day.
Clouds are dramatic in the summer. They are a large part of our surroundings and weather conditions. Clouds are a part our atmosphere (sky) where there are many gases, such as oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide and water vapor.
How do clouds form?
When water evaporates or becomes water vapor it goes up in the atmosphere (sky) because it is lighter than the air. The temperature gets colder in the higher part of the atmosphere (sky) and the water vapor condenses or turns into water or ice. The water drops and ice crystals turn into clouds. When water is a gas you can't see it in the sky. Once it turns to liquid or ice it forms into a cloud.
Look at the bottom of clouds.
Do they look like the bottom of an egg carton?
These clouds have a large amount of rain and are ready drop lots of water.
Are the clouds thin?
These clouds have very little water in them.
Usually clouds are white but sometimes they look gray. Clouds turn gray when they are full of water. A very dark gray cloud is called a thundercloud.
Have you ever heard thunder?
Thunder happens after lightening. If you see lightening and count slowly until you hear the thunder you will know how far away the lighting was. For every number you count tells how many miles away the lightening was. If you counted to 6 that means the lightening was about 6 miles away from you. A greenish cloud usually has hail in it. When hail falls it is like round ice cubes hitting the ground, cars and even your house.
After the cloud's water falls to the ground, the cloud turns back into a gas (water vapor.)
What is fog?
Fog is a cloud that is on the ground. You can walk through
a cloud when it is foggy outside!
Clouds help our weather. Clouds are like a blanket at night covering the earth. They keep the earth warm. Clouds help keep us cooler during the day by blocking some of the heat from the sun.
There are many kinds of clouds. There are at least 30 names for them.
The three main kinds are:
Look at the clouds and try to determine what type they are.
Are they low to the ground or up high?
What shape is the cloud?