Altocumulus clouds are generally associated with settled weather and will normally appear white or grey with shading.
Height of base: 2,000 - 18,000 ft
Shape: Bands or areas of individual cells
Latin: altum - height; cumulus - heap
Precipitation: None on its own
Altocumulus are small mid-level layers or patches of clouds - called cloudlets - in the shape of rounded clumps. These are white or grey, and the sides away from the Sun are shaded. Mostly found in settled weather, altocumulus are usually composed of droplets, but may also contain ice crystals.
The presence of shading can help tell the difference between altocumulus and cirrocumulus. Cirrocumulus are white but altocumulus can be white or grey, and the sides will be shaded.
Last updated: 6 August 2014