How much does a cloud weigh?

I’m doing something a little different for this week’s weather question and taking you inside WRBL to find out if my fellow News 3 coworkers know the answer to this question: How much does a cloud weigh?

“I would say about less than 10 pounds”

“How much does it weigh? 100 pounds.”

“200 pounds”

“I’d say a pound. Just one pound.”

The answer is a typical cloud weighs just over 1 million pounds! But how do we know this?

We can find out with this equation: Mass = Density x Volume

To simplify things, we know the density of a water droplet in a typical cumulus cloud is 0.5 grams per cubic meter. And the volume of a cumulus cloud is 1 billion cubic meters. This is a very large volume because clouds are really huge!

So we when we multiply these two numbers, our cubic meters cancel out since they’re the same unit and we are left with 500,000,000 grams! When we convert 500,000,000 grams to pounds we get about 1.1 million pounds!

So think of it this way. If we say an elephant weighs around 10,000 pounds, one cumulus clouds then weighs about 100 elephants!

Now if you have your own weather or science related question or if you want more information about the answer to this question, head to WRBL.com, click on ‘weather questions’ and you’ll be able to submit your own question that I’ll answer next Wednesday.

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