Types of clouds

HIGH CLOUDS: Cirrocumulus

by Esme Perry Thursday 5 March 2015

Cirrocumulus cloud
© Biswarup Ganguly

At the same altitude as the cirrus, the cirrocumulus looks like a small rounded white cloud spreading across the sky. They also sometimes appear slightly grey. The term often refers to individual clouds but can also be used to talk about the entire layer of cirrocumulus. In this case, each puff is called a cloudlet. When the sky is filled with this type of cloud, it is referred to as a "mackerel sky" because the clouds look like the scales on a mackerel fish. Unlike cirrus and cirrostratus, cirrocumulus is formed with supercooled water droplets.

What does it forecast?

Cirrocumulus does not produce rain. Usually, cirrocumulus is a good indicator for potential stormy weather, and a chance of thunder. However, when seen after rain, it usually means good weather is on its way. In winter time, it indicates fair but cold weather.

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