Clouds look wispy, fluffy, and weightless. Just floating on by without a care in the world. That is actually not true at all. Even though the biggest and fluffiest of clouds look like they could weigh at most 50 pounds, they weigh quite a bit more.

A quick Google search led me down the rabbit hole of "how much does a cloud weigh" and the answer actually surprised me. Cumulus clouds are the type of cloud that can look utterly adorable and are usually the ones where you can imagine seeing dogs, dinosaurs, and other various things in these types of clouds.

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Photo by Zbynek Burival on Unsplash
Photo by Zbynek Burival on Unsplash

Don't be fooled. Those clouds are heavy. Like 1990s yo mamma jokes heavy. According to the USGS, one cubic kilometer cumulus cloud on average weighs approximately 500,000 kilograms. For those that don't understand the metric system all that well, including me, let's break it down into imperial measurements.

  • One cubic kilometer equals 35,314,666,721 cubic feet.
  • 500,000 kilograms equals 1,102,311 pounds.

Essentially, a 35.3 billion cubic square foot cloud weighs approximately 1.1 million pounds. But why doesn't the cloud fall out of the sky? The answer is that the air that the million-plus pound cumulus cloud is floating on is heavier. Interesting, right? The next time you see one of those massive cumulus clouds on the eastern plains of Colorado, you are probably going to say to yourself "that's one heavy cloud".

I always find it amazing that you can pretty much look up anything you want to know about on the internet. Now, if you will excuse me, I am going to think up some other random questions I can pop into Google to see what I can come up with.


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