Cirrocumulus clouds

Cirrocumulus are a relatively rare cloud forming ripples which may resemble honeycomb.

Symbol: Cirrocumulus symbol

Height of base: 20,000 - 40,000 ft

Shape: Layers or patches of cells

Latin: cirrus - lock or tuft of hair; cumulus - heap

Precipitation: None

Cirrocumulus cloud (Photo: Jane Corey) Cirrocumulus cloud (Photo: Jane Corey)

Cirrocumulus clouds are lots of small white clouds - called cloudlets - grouped together at high levels. Composed almost entirely from ice crystals, the little cloudlets are regularly spaced, often arranged as ripples in the sky. They are relatively rare, and unlike altocumulus clouds, never have any shading.

They can appear in waves that look like the skin of a mackerel and are sometimes known as a "mackerel sky".

Last updated: 18 April 2016

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