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!
Diagram showing how solar heating
of the ground causes convection to form in the atmosphere. 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.

Information about
the formation of cloud patterns. Information about
thunderstorms. The Global impact of convection. Return to the Main Page.