Tuesday, February 03, 2009
How much does a cloud weigh and how much water is in it?
I got to lighten this blog up, the posts lately lack optimism and are overly grumpy! I suspect it is all due to this flu I got which is keeping me out of the pool and out of a meet next weekend.
So here goes: Above is an enormous cloud mass that a National Geographic photographer took in Texas. This cloud mass probably has a "fancy-schmancy" scientific name such as, Start running away in the opposite direction or else, but it got me to thinking about how much water could possibly be in a cloud that big?
The cloud above is nicknamed the "Texas Mother" by the photographer, Peter Carsten. The structure is perhaps tens-of-miles wide and certainly miles-upon-miles tall.
With that in mind, I looked up that a simple, lazy, cloud that is a kilometer-wide and a kilometer-tall has enough water content to weigh: 2.2 billion pounds.
Since a gallon of water weighs roughly 8.35 pounds, eight of these kilometer, sized, cubes would have enough water content to fill a cubic-mile or fulfill the amount of water that Los Angeles requires in a single year.
Yep, that's a trillion gallons! It's literally a "flying sea"
Cloud weight reference: [Link]
Gallon weight reference: [Link]
Los Angeles water usage reference [Link]