I love how one blog can lead right into another.  Yesterday, I shared an amazing photo of a roll cloud over Rogersville New Brunswick.  That encouraged Josh Clark to post a photo taken in Winnipeg last week.  The cloud looks like Lissa’s roll cloud, and does belong in the arcus cloud group, but was identified as a Morning Glory Cloud.  I"m not convinced that Josh's cloud was indeed a Morning Glory given the look of the sky, but regardless, the question remains the same. Josh was wondering if the Winnipeg cloud could have been the same cloud seen in New Brunswick yesterday morning.  

I can tell you that it was not.  Not only because they were caused by different systems, but because clouds don’t travel that far.

That brings up the question of the lifespan of a cloud. Different cloud types have different lifespans.

It’s a tricky one to answer because most clouds don’t last long in the state that you first see them; they are constantly evolving and evaporating or melting depending on their altitude. Cumulonimbus clouds also known as storm clouds or thunderhead clouds can persist for an hour to over a day depending on the strength of the storm that is producing them.  There are several types of clouds that can last up to a day given the right atmospheric conditions.

On average, I would say several hours, but the best answer is: it depends on the type of cloud and the state of the atmosphere.


Chief Meteorologist


Cindy Day