Cirrus Spissatus


At the front-end of spring, cherry blossoms are flowering, the temperatures are rising and with it cloud formation trends are changing too! Be it the impact on colour sharpness as a result of longer days, or the increase of frequency of cloud types like cirrus, I think dichotomy between Winter and Spring clouds is pretty amazing!


My first post for spring, after waiting for a cloud which epitomises this season, is a display which I have noticed as increasing in frequency in the warmer months: Cirrus Spissatus. Photo credit: Jennifer Shin in Christchurch (Thanks so much for the lovely photos 🙂 The best kind of surprise!)


Cirrus Spissatus is known to be a high altitude cloud, not only as a cirrus cloud but by being the highest of its genera. Its dense arrangement is also one of its underlying traits, which flows on with its strong association with cumulonimbus, as can be seen in the bottom left corner of the landscape photo.


In conjunction with cirrus spissatus and cumulonimbus, the display also includes an interesting formation which is effectively a transition between cirrocumulus floccus and castellanus. Some features include the ragged bases of the individual cloudlets and the dotted patterns surrounding the main cirrus and cumulonimbus. These transitioning clouds are firm indicators of air instability, in this case at high altitudes.


Stay tuned for more Spring updates!

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5 thoughts on “Cirrus Spissatus

  1. Pingback: Cumulus | Cloud 9

  2. Pingback: Waiting: Ferry 2 | What's (in) the picture?

  3. Pingback: WPC: Waiting Quietly | Lillie-Put

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