Lab: Creating Clouds Names: ________________Blk:___

Lab: Creating Clouds
Names: ________________Blk:___
Question: How are clouds formed?
Hypothesis: _________________________________________________________________
Materials: Two liter bottle w/ cap, Water, Match.
Procedure: 1) Place about one inch of water into the bottom of the two-liter bottle.
2) Carefully light a match and drop it into the bottle.
3) Quickly place the cap on top of the bottle and shake the bottle a few times.
4) Squeeze the bottle with your hands and watch what happens to the inside of the bottle.
Clean Up Procedure: Pour out the water into the sink making sure to catch the matches before
they go down the drain. Through the wet matches into the trash.
In order for clouds to be formed the following things must be present:
1) Water
2) Pollution
3) Condensation (get smaller)
Which materials or procedure listed above represent the:
1) Water? ___________________________
2) Pollution? _________________________
3) Condensation? _____________________
Clouds are water. As you probably know, we can find water in three forms: liquid, solid and gas.
Water as a gas is called water vapor. Clouds form when water vapor turns back into liquid water droplets. That
is called condensation. It happens in one of two ways: when the air cools enough, or when enough water vapor
is added to the air. You’ve seen the first process happen on a summer day as drops of water gather on the
outside of a glass of ice tea. That’s because the cold glass cools the air near it, causing the water vapor in the air
to condense into liquid. Unlike the drops on the side of your glass though, the droplets of water in a cloud are
so small that it takes about one million of them to form a single raindrop. Most clouds form this way, but the
cooling comes not from ice in a glass, but as the air rises and cools high in the sky. Each tiny cloud droplet is
light enough to float in the air, just as a little cloud floats out from your breath on a cold day.
Our air has to be a little bit dirty for clouds to form. That’s because water vapor needs a surface on
which to condense. Fortunately, even the cleanest air has some tiny particles of dust, smoke or salt for water
droplets to cling to, so the air is rarely too clean for clouds to form.
Sources for information:
Fill in the Missing Blanks of the Cloud Chart Below:
Cloud Type
Where are They
Type of Weather
High level
greater than 6km
(20,000 ft)
Low level
Low level
(base may be only
1 km above the ground) can
grow upward to 12km)
Cloud Root Word Chart: explain what type of weather
Nimbus or nimbo
Post Lab Questions:
1. What is condensation? _____________________________________________________________
2. During the lab when did you see condensation? _________________________________________
3. What causes the water droplets to condense? ____________________________________________
4. Why does our air need to be dirty?________________________________________________________
5. Why do clouds form in a low pressure system?
6. Explain how a cloud forms?