Cirrus Floccus

Above: Cirrus Floccus

Cirrus Floccus

Clouds are normally categorized according to various considerations. For instance; how high in the sky are they, their formation, how are they shaped and so forth. Basically, there are five categories of clouds; vertical clouds, high clouds, low clouds, middle clouds and other clouds. Within these, there are varied sub-categories.

High clouds are mainly made up of frozen water droplets (ice crystals) and are normally formed more than 15, 000 feet above the ground. These are usually thin, wispy and threadlike and are white in appearance. However, when the sun is low, they may appear in other colors and a perfect example of high clouds is the cirrus clouds. Under cirrus category of clouds, there are many sub-types; for example the cirrus floccus clouds.

What are cirrus floccus clouds?

Cirrus floccus is a Latin phrase that means “a lock of wool.”  As such, cirrus floccus clouds are wool-like in appearance and are often divided into tufts with streaks precipitating below. Normally, these tufts are separated from one another. The clouds often have virga (rain) falling from it, though it dissipates before reaching the ground or if it manage to hit the ground, it does so in large droplets and only briefly.

What height are cirrus floccus clouds found?

Cirrus floccus clouds are high clouds, meaning they form in altitudes, often more than 16,000 feet above the earth’s ground. Due to their high altitudes they are normally referred to as ice clouds and as the wind blows, the ice is twisted and blown into streams of varying lengths and width. Cirrus floccus clouds normally form in fair weather and come in varied sizes and shapes. They usually indicate an imminent change of weather and by their movement, one can tell from which direction the weather change will occur or will be approaching.

How are cirrus floccus clouds formed?

Due to their height, they tend to look rather light, threadlike and wispy compared to other types of clouds. Cirrus floccus heights are subjected to low temperatures all through the year, thus consist wholly of ice crystals. This is because they are too far away from a source of heat for them to turn to water droplets.

Cirrus floccus thin and threadlike appearance and insubstantial qualities is brought about by lack of moisture, as found in high altitudes and that is normally needed to form larger clouds as found in lower segments of the troposphere. Typically, it is possible for jet streams in the sky to become cirrus floccus clouds as their exhaust matter condenses behind them.

How common are cirrus floccus clouds?

Cirrus floccus cloud formations is a worldwide phenomenon. As aforementioned above, they are purely made of falling ice crystals. Actually, cirrus floccus clouds are the highest and the fastest moving clouds on earth, though they may seem otherwise.  As they are always falling through varied temperature layers and on varied wind speeds, they always appear haggard.

Characteristic of cirrus floccus clouds

  • Composed of falling ice crystals
  • Worldwide occurrence.
  • They act as the first indicator on how the weather will look like within the next 24 hours
  • High altitude clouds that often hike rides on jet planes.
  • They are wispy and threadlike in appearance

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