Five Facts About : Cirrus

Cirrus is a thin, wispy cloud formed at a high altitude under a variety of meteorological conditions

Five Facts About : Cirrus

“Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add colour to my sunset sky.”
Rabindranath Tagore

If you like sundogs and sun halos then you can are probably a fan of cirrus clouds.

Cirrus is a thin, wispy cloud formed at high altitudes under various meteorological conditions. Sundogs and sun halos are formed by the sunlight refracting off the ice crystals within the cirrus.

cirrus clouds over the uk

So here we go with our five facts about cirrus. I bet you can’t wait.

  1. Cirrus clouds are generally found at heights above 5,000 m (16,500 ft)
  2. Cirrus is composed entirely of ice crystals. At this height any air mass that cools to saturation will produce ice crystals rather than water droplets
  3. An extensive area of cirrus, covering a large portion of the sky, may indicate an approaching weather front and a change in the weather
  4. The familiar ‘anvil’ of a cumulonimbus cloud is in fact cirrus! A thunderstorm can pump moisture high up into the troposphere where it freezes into ice crystals
  5. Their name derives from Latin – ‘cirrus’ meaning a curl, tuft or wisp of hair
Cirrus clouds uk

As always, we’d love to see your best cirrus photos – so tweet them to us at @StormHour