Ask Storm Team 11: What is water vapor?

Ask Storm Team 11

Today’s Ask Storm Team 11 question is “What is water vapor?”

Water vapor is water in a gas state, versus a liquid or solid state. Therefore, water vapor is invisible.

On water vapor imagery, a certain wavelength is used that is sensitive to moisture from our satellites in space. On this image, drier air is indicated by the gold color, while blues, whites, and greens indicate moisture.

Keep in mind water vapor imagery does not represent clouds, but clouds are typically present since you need water vapor for cloud formation.

Water vapor can either warm or cool air. Water vapor is a greenhouse gas and helps warm the Earth. It can also cool air through evaporational cooling. An example of this is jumping into a pool on a hot summer day to cool off. The water on your skin evaporates and cools your body.

Ask Storm Team 11 your questions!

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