How is there liquid water drops in cirrus clouds, where temperatures can be 30 below freezing

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How is there liquid water drops in cirrus clouds, where temperatures can be 30 below freezing

In: Chemistry

Freezing and boiling temperatures change with pressure. At low pressures such as way up in the atmosphere the freezing temperature is much lower. Also even though the ambient temperature is so low, there still a lot of movement which helps prevent things from solidifying.

I think it’s wrong to think of the water in clouds as drops. The way chemistry works at that level is liquid gets turned into a vapor. It rises into the atmosphere in different concentrations viewed as clouds. When I picture vapor in air, I imagine it is similar to dissolved particulate in a liquid. It doesn’t precipitate out until it reaches a certain state which is the drop you are thinking in your mind. Once that happens it’s gonna start falling out of the cloud and at those temperatures become ice or snow. I hope this helps.

And to bring it back to the point of your question; why it’s not freezing in the air. It’s because it’s dissolved in the atmosphere. It acts differently then it would if it was in isolated droplets. I.e. Not affected the same way by the temperature.