Why are clouds white?

This week’s weather question comes from Paige McNeilly.
She wants to know why clouds are white.
Clouds are made of water droplets and ice crystals – which are large enough to scatter all wavelengths of visible light on the electromagnetic spectrum – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet.

All that light is scattered equally – and when all combined, we see white.

Unlike clouds, the composition of air is made mainly of oxygen and nitrogen molecules – which are far smaller and scatter the short wavelengths of visible light easier – blue and violet.
Now if you have your own weather or science related question, email Meteorologist Carmen Rose at crose@wrbl.com.

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