Do you have adblock enabled?
If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(Scientific American)   Why do clouds turn gray before it rains?   ( divider line
    More: Interesting  
•       •       •

17057 clicks; posted to Main » on 22 Jul 2003 at 1:09 AM (14 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

55 Comments     (+0 »)

Oldest | « | 1 | 2 | » | Newest | Show all

2003-07-21 09:07:03 PM  
People need Scientific American to help them figure this out? Hey, I've got a 5 page essay for you called "Why you cast a shadow".
2003-07-21 10:44:37 PM  
Oh, for crying out loud. I already knew the answer to this when I was 5.
2003-07-21 11:53:22 PM  
More importantly:

Why do birds suddenly appear
Every time you are near?
Just like me, they long to be
Close to you.

Why do stars fall down from the sky
Every time you walk by?
Just like me, they long to be
Close to you.

On the day that you were born
The angels got together
And decided to create a dream come true
So they sprinkled moon dust in your hair of gold
And starlight in your eyes of blue.

That is why all the girls in town
Follow you all around.
Just like me, they long to be
Close to you.

On the day that you were born
The angels got together
And decided to create a dream come true
So they sprinkled moon dust in your hair of gold
And starlight in your eyes of blue.

That is why all the girls in town
Follow you all around.
Just like me, they long to be
Close to you.
Just like me (Just like me)
They long to be
Close to you.

Wahhhhhhhhhhh, close to you.
Wahhhhhhhhhhh, close to you.
Hahhhhhhhhhhh, close to you.
Lahhhhhhhhhhh, close to you.
2003-07-22 12:21:47 AM  
Ouranos is sad.
2003-07-22 01:12:47 AM  
OK, why do really heavy rain clouds look green on the bottom?
2003-07-22 01:12:59 AM  
Thank you, all, for saying what I feel - to put it bluntly - DUH!
2003-07-22 01:13:23 AM  
If a kid asks where rain comes from, I think a cute thing to tell him is "God is crying." And if he asks why God is crying, another cute thing to tell him is "Probably because of something you did."

/jack handey
2003-07-22 01:19:02 AM  
hmmm. That's odd I expected a headline like this:

"Scientists discover why clouds turn gray before it rains. Still no cure for cancer"

Those headlines are always a hoot
2003-07-22 01:19:56 AM  
What's a cloud?
2003-07-22 01:19:57 AM  
pebblespetal, you are correct. I will be recording this under D for "Duh!"

/Now: Scientific American, why does it hurt when I pee?
2003-07-22 01:22:29 AM  
A better Question is Who Cares?
2003-07-22 01:26:16 AM  
I want one of them wind powered cars....yeah, that would work....along with my H-bomb car...
2003-07-22 01:28:08 AM  
dandamanfl thanks, I was thinking of just that myself. Of course that's because yesterday I listened to Ed Friedlander, The Pathology Guy, explain that it is almost certainly the case that Karen Carpenter did not die of anorexia.
2003-07-22 01:28:08 AM  
I never had to be told. It's plainly obvious the first time you see a big booming cumulonimbus cloud.
2003-07-22 01:29:18 AM  
That's a good one, mysha. The worst skies I've seen were green.
2003-07-22 01:31:36 AM  
Green? That's you seeing through to the Matrix code, as a massive weather event is gearing up.
2003-07-22 01:31:57 AM  
They turn grey because they are sad little clouds...

Then they cry little tiny drops of rain...

Then they get angry and throw bolts of lightning at the people who made them angry!

Like you...

Now get to bed.
2003-07-22 01:34:57 AM  
mysha Usually the sky looks green before a tornado because of grass particles that have been sucked up into the air.
2003-07-22 01:35:24 AM  
Deserved the "Obvious" tag.
2003-07-22 01:35:27 AM  
2003-07-22 01:35:39 AM  
Yeah, green. With all them funnels forming around. And the temp. drops several degrees in about a minute along with the barometric pressure drop.
2003-07-22 01:39:38 AM  
It's because the clouds are sad *sniff*
2003-07-22 01:41:12 AM  
Well I thought it was interesting. Sure, it's obvious that they're darker because there's more water in them, but I didn't know they were taller. I thought they were simply more dense.
2003-07-22 01:47:26 AM  
sswift, have you ever looked at the side of a cloud? Jeez, the huge thunderboomers are always towering monsters.
2003-07-22 01:48:59 AM  

It's an expensive way to see something cool, but if you ever want to see something cool, schedule an airplane flight that is scheduled to fly over an area of thunderstorm activity (you'll have to do it on short notice because it will involve watching the weather report). Storm clouds viewed from above conjure up mental images of Greek or Norse gods with twisted senses of humor and frightening senses of scale.
2003-07-22 01:49:01 AM  
Spoofman_v2.0 I can only hope you're joking

the sky goes green when light passes through clouds and whatever else is in there, like heavy rain or hail, if I'm not mistaken
2003-07-22 01:49:15 AM  
Interesting reading, cbm5.

But I live in Southern California, and tornadoes/waterspouts are quite rare - and thunderstorms too. The green bases I've seen are under really heavy clouds (nimbus), usually no lightning involved, just heavy rain. And all times of day, so the "red-filtered light" (like at sunset) doesn't sound reasonable.
2003-07-22 01:53:14 AM  
Here's a nice bit on colored skies. I'll even be nice and give everyone copy and paste practice
2003-07-22 01:53:14 AM  
Thunderstorms can appear green because of the way a late sun refracts through large raindrops or hail. Neat to see, but not a reliable indication of whether a storm is severe or not.
2003-07-22 01:58:33 AM  
Hm. I read it somewhere, but I can't remember where or even the source. Oh well.
2003-07-22 02:01:06 AM  
Quicker summary on green clouds that you'll actually read all the way through:​h​tm
2003-07-22 02:03:33 AM  
mysha A "nimus" (cumulonimbus) is, by definition, a thunderstorm. You may be thinking of another word...
2003-07-22 02:18:24 AM  
Having sex with Roseanne Bar would turn me gay.
2003-07-22 02:20:11 AM  
"Nimbus" is a rain cloud, also called "Nimbo-stratus" (usually associated with warm fronts and cold fronts moving into warm but stable air mass)

"Cumulo-nimbus" is a (big) puffy rain cloud (usually associated with warm, unstable airmasses).
2003-07-22 02:22:16 AM  
Why do clouds turn gray before it rains?

because it is the will of landru.
2003-07-22 02:23:40 AM  
"Nimbus" is also associated with spiky hair and mid-air battle sequences.
2003-07-22 02:32:17 AM  
The stupid guy in super mario brothers that would throw stuff at you rode a nimbus cloud too.
2003-07-22 02:58:31 AM  
what is really cool is how hail is formed....

my girlfriend doesn't care, but I tell her anyways...

2003-07-22 03:04:40 AM  
"sswift, have you ever looked at the side of a cloud? Jeez, the huge thunderboomers are always towering monsters."

I live in New Hampshire. In New Hampshire, because there are these things called trees, the only part of a cloud you ever see is the bottom.

Of course, I exxagerate, but the last place where I am going to be during a thunderstorm is outside looking at the clouds.

"Nimbus is also associated with spiky hair and mid-air battle sequences."

True, but if you're a dirty old man you get to fly on the much cooler flying Gamera.

Of course, flying Gamera spins like a top and thus cannot be reccomended to anyone who is prone to motion sickness.
2003-07-22 05:36:13 AM  
Everyone knows Scientific American is just a tool for the atheist evilution conspiracy to turn our kids into homosexuals. This "cloud" article merely works into their greater plan of denying Jesus yet again.
2003-07-22 07:50:32 AM  
I remember watching Dallas once, when Miss Ellie commented on the terrible storm a-brewing; it was yellow, and the sky always turns yellow when there's gonna be tornadoes. I think that might have been the night of JR's real wedding to the trashy little slut he married in the shotgun ceremony out in the country; I forget her name, but I think she cheated on him with some younger relation (illegitimate son?) of his.

By the way, jre, you might be right about them scientific Amerikan homosexuals. We don't have storms here because Pat prays for us. God just sprinkles us enough to keep the flowers a-growin'.

/loathe thy neighbor rednecks
2003-07-22 08:07:06 AM  
I'm surprised nobody's commented on sciam's expert yet: "Richard Brill, a professor at Honolulu Community College".
2003-07-22 08:17:42 AM  
Great freaking placement of a banner ad right on top of your article, very scientific.
2003-07-22 08:21:22 AM  
The guy in Mario rode a cumulus. They are also called "fair weather clouds", although there is no such animal. When the airmass is unstable, cumulus clouds form. If the airmass is unstable enough, the cumulus clouds grow into 'Towering cumulus' type clouds. If they get tall enough, ice crystals form in the top. This is the textbook definition of 'Cumulonimbus', AKA Thunderhead. A 'Super-Cell Thunderstorm' is just a giant Cumulonimbus. Rain does not necessarily come from cumulus-type clouds, though. Rain can (and often does) come from stratus-type clouds. But thunderstorms are always from a cumulonimbus.

/weather nerd
2003-07-22 11:13:56 AM  
makes me want to sing a judy collins song.
2003-07-22 11:31:41 AM  
I saw a cloud once. It looked like a turtle.
2003-07-22 12:12:28 PM  
scientific american isn't what it used to be.

"lightness" and "darkness" are relative and subject to the effects of contrast and context.
2003-07-22 01:07:14 PM  
The taller the clouds become, the grayer their bottoms look.

shouldn't this be "the more they scoot around in the dirt, the grayer their bottoms look."?

2003-07-22 02:30:16 PM  
Because the acid is building up and it's going to fall on your head! Cuz acid is gray!
2003-07-22 03:55:20 PM  
because the clouds, they are pregnant with the rain babies.
Displayed 50 of 55 comments

Oldest | « | 1 | 2 | » | Newest | Show all

This thread is archived, and closed to new comments.

Continue Farking

On Twitter

Top Commented
Javascript is required to view headlines in widget.
  1. Links are submitted by members of the Fark community.

  2. When community members submit a link, they also write a custom headline for the story.

  3. Other Farkers comment on the links. This is the number of comments. Click here to read them.

  4. Click here to submit a link.