How much clouds weigh

It would crush you like a bug

Depends on how you define “good-sized.”
  • Depends on how you define “good-sized.”
  • Image by Rick Geary

To: Matmail: While driving around the highways and byways of North County on one of the few days when puffy clouds were scudding by like weightless behemoths, I got to wondering. Exactly how much does a good-size cloud weigh? Could I carry one on my shoulders, or would the bulk crush me like a bug? — rstark, the Net

A good-sized cloud, down at shoulder level, is called dense fog. Not much problem dealing with that, since all the water in the cloud is dispersed over a wide area. On the other hand, squish that liquid into one monster raindrop, position it carefully over you tootling along a byway, and let ’er rip, and you’ll become a permanent part of geologic history, leaving paleontologists to theorize about a flattened Honda in the Mesozoic layer. Depending on how you define “good-sized,” the water probably weighs anywhere from half a million to several million tons — from one to many jumbo jets’ worth of agua.

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