This is a photograph of cirrostratus clouds near Moab, Utah.
Click on image for full size
Courtesy of Anne Pharamond
Cirrostratus clouds belong to the
High Cloud (5000-13000m) group. They are sheetlike thin clouds that usually
cover the entire sky.
The sun or moon can shine through cirrostratus clouds . Sometimes, the sun or
moon will appear to have a halo around it when in the presence of cirrostratus.
The ice crystals from the cloud refracts the light from the sun or moon,
creating a halo. This halo is the width of your hand when you hold it out at arm's length.
Cirrostratus clouds usually come 12-24 hours before a rain or snow storm. This
is especially true if Middle group clouds are associated with it.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!Cool It!
is the new card game from the Union of Concerned Scientists that teaches kids about the choices we have when it comes to climate change—and how policy and technology decisions made today will matter. Cool It! is available in our online store
You might also be interested in:
The high cloud group consists of Cirrus, Cirrostratus, and Cirrocumulus clouds. High clouds are made of ice crystals due to the cold air in the upper sky. The base of a high cloud above the surface can...more
Rain is precipitation that falls to the Earth in drops of 5mm or more in diameter according to the US National Weather Service. Virga is rain that evaporates before reaching the ground. Raindrops form...more
The middle cloud group consists of Altostratus and Altocumulus clouds. Middle clouds are made of ice crystals and water droplets. The base of a middle cloud above the surface can be anywhere from 200...more
Cirrus clouds are the most common of the High Cloud (5000-13000m) group. They are composed entirely of ice and consist of long, thin, wispy streamers. They are commonly known as "mare's tails" because...more
Weather fronts can cause clouds to form. Fronts occur when two large masses of air collide at the Earth's surface. Warm fronts produce clouds when warm air replaces cold air by sliding above it. Many different...more
Altocumulus clouds are part of the Middle Cloud group (2000-7000m up). They are grayish-white with one part of the cloud darker than the other. Altocumulus clouds usually form in groups and are about...more
Altostratus belong to the Middle Cloud group (2000-7000m up). An altostratus cloud usually covers the whole sky and has a gray or blue-gray appearance. The sun or moon may shine through an altostratus...more