Convection in the Sky

How Convection Works

  • The sun heats the ground, and the ground heats the air.
  • The air becomes less dense (lighter), so it rises.
  • The air cools as it rises, and water vapor may condense to form a cloud.
  • As the air cools it becomes more dense (heavier) and it sinks to the ground again.
  • The cycle continues!

Click on the links below to...

...see the intricate cloud pattens convection creates.
...understand how convection can turn a puffy, white cumulus cloud into a dark and ominous thunderstorm.
...see how convection can alter the world's weather and why convection is important to study and understand.