I was just outside and it's a perfect summer day ... warm with a cool breeze, bright and sunny with blue skies from horizon to horizon.
Except for one small cloud.
No other clouds anywhere around except for this solitary individual.
Sure, it's just a cloud and no big deal ... except that it got me thinking that for something as commonplace as a cloud that each of us sees almost
every day of our lives ... that personally, I really know very little about them from a meteorological point of view..
As you can see from the pic above, the cloud has a fairly well defined boundary. Yes, I know that if we got up close to the cloud that the boundary
would become more and more fuzzy but from a distance, there's obviously two distinct regions separated by a boundary ... the blue sky region
surrounding the cloud and the interior of the cloud.
Now in my mind, that's an obvious indicator that these 2 distinct regions must have very different properties and conditions from each other. It then
occurs to me to consider that at some point in time, the cloud didn't exist and it was basically just blue skies but then something had to change or
alter, resulting in the formation of the cloud.
As our resident weather expert, this simple question of mine is probably going to be easily answered by OzWeatherman but I'm just curious as to what
set of circumstances could trigger the formation of just a single cloud ... why does atmospheric moisture start to condense at a particular spot and
then continue condensing ... finally to stop at what becomes the clouds edge boundary ? Why doesn't the condensation just continue ? What process or
conditions causes the condensation to halt ?
Simple questions I'm sure ... but one's I've never really thought about until now.
Sometimes we simply take our world and it's wonders for granted