University of Illinois Extension

Clouds – Earth’s Security Blanket

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Clouds come in many shapes and forms. Some are high in the sky, while others are so low they touch the ground. No matter what shape or how high, clouds form the same way, by having water vapor condense on small solid particles like dust, sea salt, and pollution.

Clouds serve several important functions. One of these is providing rain and snow. They also help retain heat, like a blanket so it doesn’t escape quickly into space. Temperatures on a cloudy night might be warmer than a clear starry night. On hot days, clouds provide shade.

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