These are cirrocumulus clouds. When the clouds in the sky look like this picture, it is called a "mackerel sky" because the clouds look like the scales on a mackerel fish.
Click on image for full size
Courtesy of UCAR Digital Image Library
Cirrocumulus clouds belong to the High
Cloud group (5000-13000m). They are small rounded puffs that usually appear in
long rows. Cirrocumulus are usually white, but sometimes appear gray. Cirrocumulus clouds are the same size or smaller than the width of your littlest finger when you hold up your hand at arm's length.
If these clouds cover a lot of the sky, it is called a "mackerel sky"
because the sky looks like the scales of a fish. Cirrocumulus are usually seen
in the winter time and indicate fair, but cold weather.
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