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Mie Scattering
equal scattering of visible light wavelengths

Another type of scattering (called Mie Scattering) is responsible for the white appearance of clouds. Cloud droplets with a diameter of 20 micrometers or so are large enough to scatter all visible wavelengths more or less equally. This means that almost all of the light which enters clouds will be scattered. Because all wavelengths are scattered, clouds appear to be white.

When clouds become very deep, less and less of the incoming solar radiation makes it through to the bottom of the cloud, which gives these clouds a darker appearance.

Terms for using data resources. CD-ROM available.
Credits and Acknowledgments for WW2010.
Department of Atmospheric Sciences (DAS) at
the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.