Why Do Clouds Become Gray When It’s About To Rain?

I know, i know, they probably explained this at school but to be honest, it must have been one of those days that i was either absent or sleeping in class.

Anyway, because i’m pretty sure i’m not the only one not knowing the answer to this question, and because a lot of you useless info junkie parents out there will get asked this question by your kids one day, we decided to have a look.

Here’s how it goes. (the article continues after the ad)

Simply said, it’s the thickness and the height of the clouds that makes them appear gray. You see, clouds are formed when water vapor condenses with the rising air. The clouds’ particles scatter all colors of light therefore, we perceive it as white (remember when we talked about Why Is The Sky Blue?).

Makes sense, right? So, what happens with rain clouds?

Photo: Wikimedia

Well, because rain clouds contain more water droplets, they become thicker and denser. The thicker they get, the less light penetrates through them and that’s why we perceive them as gray. This is because the light doesn’t reach all the way through the cloud to reach its bottom. The taller the clouds, the grayer their bottoms as you look them on from the ground!

And now you know!

If you like what you read, then you will definitely love this one: Why Is The Sky Blue?  



Photo:  WikimediaWikimedia
Photoshop: I’m A Useless Info Junkie
Sources: Why do clouds turn gray before it rains?  | Why Are Rain Clouds Dark? | What Makes Rain Clouds Dark?