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Why do the clouds move?

The clouds we see are in the Earth’s atmosphere.

Image of Earth taken from outer space. There are large areas of clouds covering the surface of the earth from view.

Image credit: Wikipedia Commons

The atmosphere is the layer above ground that includes the sky and the clouds. The sky we see is full of gases that are mostly invisible to us. These gases make up the atmosphere, and can have different temperatures across the planet. When two areas of the sky are different temperatures, the air moves from the hotter area to the cooler area. This causes the wind! The warm air rushes in to heat up the cooler air, and this is why we get winds in our weather. 
The wind can be so strong that it carries the clouds with them. Clouds are made up of water vapour, which may later fall to the ground as rain, hail or snow. The higher up you go in the sky, the faster the clouds move. This is because the wind is faster at higher heights above the surface. 


We sometimes get clouds that can travel huge distances, and cross the oceans. These clouds are following a particularly strong wind, called the jet stream. Jet streams travel from warm parts of the world to colder parts, bring warm air with them that can rise temperatures. This movement of air can sometimes bring warm weather to the UK, when the winds are travelling in the right direction. 

Find out more about clouds. 

Find out more about wind

Find out more about the jet stream.