Cirrus clouds are wispy, feathery, and composed completely of ice crystals. As a warm front approaches, cirrus clouds are inclined to thicken into cirrostratus, which may, in flip, thicken and lower into altostratus, stratus, and even nimbostratus. They incessantly point out the method of a heat entrance and may thicken and decrease into stratus, then nimbostratus leading to rain or snow. They are the primary signal of an approaching heat entrance or higher-stage jet streak. The three most important sorts of excessive clouds are cirrus, cirrostratus, and cirrocumulus. In contrast to cirrus, cirrostratus clouds kind extra of a widespread, veil-like layer similar to stratus clouds in low levels. When sunlight or moonlight passes using the hexagonal-shaped ice crystals of cirrostratus clouds, the sunshine is dispersed or refracted much like gentle passing by a prism in such an approach that a familiar ring or halo may kind.

Nevertheless, altostratus clouds don’t produce vital precipitation on the floor, though sprinkles or mild showers might occur from a thick alto-stratus deck. The 2 only kinds of mid-stage clouds are altostratus and altocumulus. Altostratus clouds are “Strato” sort clouds seen beneath that possess a flat and uniform type texture within the mid ranges. Altocumulus clouds exhibit “cumulo” sort traits seen in mid-levels, i.e., heap-like clouds with convective elements. Due to chilly tropospheric temperatures at these levels, the clouds primarily are composed of ice crystals and sometimes seem skinny, streaky, and white though a low sun angle, e.g., close to sunset, can create an array of coloration on the clouds.

Clouds are made up of many small water drops and ice crystals. Depending on the altitude, time of year, and vertical temperature structure of the troposphere, these clouds could also be composed of liquid water droplets, ice crystals, or a combination of the 2, including supercooled droplets, i.e.,, liquid droplets whose temperatures are beneath freezing. Low clouds happen below 6500 ft and normally include liquid water droplets or even supercooled droplets, besides throughout cold winter storms when ice crystals and snow comprise much of the clouds. Lastly, cirrocumulus clouds are layered clouds permeated with small cumuliform lumpiness. High-stage clouds occur above about 20,000 ft and are given the prefix “cirro-.”