Last updated on August 31, 2019
When the sun shines on seas and lakes, some of the water they hold evaporates into warm air. This warm water vapour then rises up and away from Earth’s surface. As the air rises, it cools. Because cold air cannot hold as much moisture as warm air, the water vapour condenses and forms clouds. Clouds that form very high in the atmosphere, above 5,000 are made of ice crystals rather than water vapour.
What is Wind?
The wind is the movement of air from an area of low pressure to an area of high pressure. The greater the difference between areas of pressure, the faster the wind moves. Wind speed is measured using the Beaufort scale, which ranges from 0 to 12. At 12 on the scale, hurricane wind speeds can reach 480 kph.
Winds are common in Earth’s atmosphere. They vary in scale and intensity from gentle breezes to violent storms like tornadoes, and can be daily or seasonal.
There are three main groups of clouds, though they each have many variations. Cumulus form in bulging heaps, stratus are layered, and cirrus is wispy of fibrous.
Clouds are named according to their shape, size, and how high up they form in the atmosphere.