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Why are clouds becoming darker before the rain begins to fall?

Question by Guest | Last update on 2020-08-25 | Created on 2012-05-19

According to my observation, clouds are changing their color, before it starts raining. While on beautiful sunny days, a few white clouds are floating above us, it looks quite different before the rain. The clouds seem to change their color from white to gray. Why is that?

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1Best Answer1 Vote

Clouds consist of tiny water particles. When light falls on these particles, the light is scattered in all possible directions. This makes the clouds appear white.

Before a rain, however, these water particles get bigger and bigger and practically, they clump before they fall completely to the ground. Thus, the mentioned light scattering is not as much anymore, but rather the light is absorbed by the particles, so that not very much light reaches us. And then and with this, the clouds will look much, much darker than before.
2012-05-21 at 22:25

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