The most common process by which clouds are created is cooling air below its original dewpoint so condensation occurs.Is this true?

Asked on by zanilu

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bandmanjoe | Middle School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

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Absolutely true!  Clouds are the result of warm, moisture-laden air cooling to the saturation point of the air, which is commonly called the dew point.  The only difference here is that we characteristicly think of dew forming on the ground, or the grass, or some other surface close to the Earth.  Cloud formation in the troposphere occurs as a result of both the air rising to an altitude where the dew point is achieved, because the higher the altitude, the cooler the temperature.  The gaseous moisture contained in the air mass condenses to a point until it is in a nebulous "in-between" area, light enough to continue to stay in the air, but heavy, or condensed enough, to take on more characteristics of liquid water, the form of a cloud.  Continued cooling will cause more condensation, until the water droplets become so heavy they will be unable to maintain their lofty perch as a gas.  They become rain, or sleet, or hail, or snow, as the reigning weather conditions dictate.


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