We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

How Much Do Clouds Weigh?

Fair weather cumulus clouds look like big, fluffy cotton balls floating in the sky. Cirrus clouds are thin and wispy. Because they look so insubstantial, most of us don't think about how heavy clouds actually are. The truth is, they're very heavy. The average fluffy cumulus cloud weighs about 500,000 pounds (226,700 kg). Storm clouds are much heavier, since they're weighed down by water.

This becomes a little easier to visualize when one remembers that clouds are made of water droplets. If you think about how quickly you tire of carrying just a gallon of water, the weight of clouds becomes much easier to understand. These droplets are sometimes microscopic, and are usually spread out across many, many miles, which is how they stay in the air and don't come crashing to the ground.

Humans have always been fascinated by clouds. References to clouds appear in the Upanishads, from 3,000 B.C., while Aristotle waxed eloquent about them in "Meteorology," his work of 350 B.C.

Concerning clouds:

  • The average cloud droplet is 0.0008 inches (.02 mm) in diameter, some five times smaller than the thickness of a sheet of paper.
  • Every planet with an atmosphere has clouds, whether they're made of water droplets, as on Earth, or made of ammonia, as on Saturn.
  • The cloudiest places on Earth are the Prince Edward Islands, off the coast of South Africa. Parts of these islands see less than 800 hours of sunshine per year.
Amy Pollick
By Amy Pollick
Amy Pollick, a talented content writer and editor, brings her diverse writing background to her work at WiseGeek. With experience in various roles and numerous articles under her belt, she crafts compelling content that informs and engages readers across various platforms on topics of all levels of complexity.
Discussion Comments
By anon995096 — On Apr 01, 2016

It's the same force that allows a heavy ship to float in water.

By anon995049 — On Mar 28, 2016

If they weigh that much, what force is holding them in the sky rather than crashing to earth by the force of gravity?

Amy Pollick
Amy Pollick
Amy Pollick, a talented content writer and editor, brings her diverse writing background to her work at WiseGeek. With...
Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.