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Encyclopedia > Cirrus cloud
Cirrus cloud
A sky filled with cirrus clouds.
A sky filled with cirrus clouds.
Abbreviation Ci
Genus Cirrus (curl of hair)
Altitude Above 7000 m
(Above 23,000 ft)
Classification Family A (High-level)
Appearance thin, wisplike strands
Precipitation Cloud? No
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Cirrus clouds are characterized by thin, wisplike strands, often accompanied by tufts, leading to their common (non-standard) name of 'mare's tail'. Sometimes these brownish clouds are so extensive that they are virtually indistinguishable from one another, forming a veil or sheet called "cirrostratus". Sometimes convection at high altitudes produces another form of cirrus called "cirrocumulus", a pattern of small cloud tufts which include droplets of supercooled water. Cirrus can refer to: a type of cloud, cirrus cloud a car produced by DaimlerChrysler, Chrysler Cirrus a German rocket, cirrus (rocket) a trance music group, Cirrus (music group) an interbank network (ATM network) by MasterCard, Cirrus (interbank network) a British aircraft engine company, Cirrus Engine an aircraft company, Cirrus... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1225x919, 335 KB) I, the creator of this work, hereby grant the permission to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1. ... // High-level clouds Cirrus Clouds (from above) Abbreviation: Ci Cirrus clouds form above 16,500 feet (5,000 m), in the cold region of the troposphere. ... This article is about the unit of length. ... A foot (plural: feet or foot;[1] symbol or abbreviation: ft or, sometimes, ′ – a prime) is a unit of length, in a number of different systems, including English units, Imperial units, and United States customary units. ... For other uses, see Cloud (disambiguation). ... // High-level clouds Cirrus Clouds (from above) Abbreviation: Ci Cirrus clouds form above 16,500 feet (5,000 m), in the cold region of the troposphere. ... {{Infobox Cloud | name = Cirrostratus cloud | image location = Cirrostratus02. ... A cirrocumulus is a high-altitude cloud, usually occurring at 20,000-40,000 ft (6,000-12,000 m). ... Supercooling is the process of chilling a liquid below its freezing point, without its becoming solid. ...


Many cirrus clouds produce hair like filaments made of the heavier [ice] crystals that precipitate from them. These "fall streaks", a form of virga, often indicate the difference in the motion of air (wind shear) between the upper part of the cirrus cloud and the air below it. Sometimes the top of the cirrus cloud is moving rapidly above a slower layer of air, or the streak is falling into a faster moving lower layer. The directions of these winds can also vary. Nimbostratus virga In meteorology, virga is precipitation that falls from a cloud but evaporates before reaching the ground. ... For the Marvel Comics character, see Windshear (comics). ...


Cirrus usually form at altitudes above 8000 meters (26,000 ft). At this altitude, aircrafts leave condensation trails that can turn into cirrus clouds. This happens when hot exhaust, mostly water, freezes leaving a visible trail. Streaks may appear straight when wind shear is absent, giving the clouds the appearance of a comma (cirrus uncinus), or tangle, an indication of high-level turbulence. The falling ice crystals evaporate before reaching the ground. Cirrus uncinus is a type of cloud. ... In fluid dynamics, turbulence or turbulent flow is a flow regime characterized by chaotic, stochastic property changes. ...


Cirrus clouds trap and reflect infrared radiation (heat) beneath them (greenhouse effect), but also reflect sunlight to some extent (albedo). It has not yet been determined whether the net effect of cirrus clouds is to warm or cool the earth. Much of the difficulty lies in modeling the albedo effect of clouds composed of various size and shape crystals. Older models tend to underestimate the albedo effect of cirrus. Refinements of these models will improve climate predictions. A schematic representation of the exchanges of energy between outer space, the Earths atmosphere, and the Earth surface. ... For other uses, see Albedo (disambiguation). ...

Cirrus clouds over Golden Gate Bridge
Cirrus clouds over Golden Gate Bridge

If there are many cirrus clouds in the sky, this may be a sign that a frontal system or upper air disturbance is approaching; usually meaning the weather will change within the next 24 hours. Cirrus clouds can also be the remnants of a thunderstorm. A large shield of cirrus and cirrostratus typically accompany the high altitude outflow of hurricanes/typhoons. Cirrus clouds have also been observed to develop after the persistent formation of contrails from aircraft. Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 533 pixelsFull resolution (3888 × 2592 pixel, file size: 5. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 533 pixelsFull resolution (3888 × 2592 pixel, file size: 5. ... The Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge spanning the Golden Gate, the opening into the San Francisco Bay from the Pacific Ocean. ... Different air masses which affect North America, as well as other continents, tend to be separated by frontal boundaries A weather front is a boundary separating two masses of air of different densities, and is the principal cause of significant weather. ... A shelf cloud associated with a heavy or severe thunderstorm over Enschede, The Netherlands. ... Contrails are condensation trails (sometimes vapour trails): artificial cirrus clouds made by the exhaust of aircraft engines or wingtip vortices which precipitate a stream of tiny ice crystals in moist, frigid upper air. ...

Cirrus Clouds as a leaf
Cirrus Clouds as a leaf








See also

Weather Portal

Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1754x2646, 2231 KB) Rooster Weather Vane photographer: Arne Koehler File links The following pages link to this file: Weather vane ... Aviation contributes to global warming in a number of ways, the most significant of which is the combustion of kerosene (a fossil fuel) in flight. ... For the geological process, see Weathering or Erosion. ... Clouds (from above) Clouds form when the dewpoint of water is reached in the presence of condensation nuclei in the troposphere. ... Contrails are condensation trails (sometimes vapour trails): artificial cirrus clouds made by the exhaust of aircraft engines or wingtip vortices which precipitate a stream of tiny ice crystals in moist, frigid upper air. ...

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
For other uses, see Cloud (disambiguation). ... Cirrus uncinus is a type of cirrus cloud. ... A KHI on the planet Saturn, formed at the interaction of two bands of the planets atmosphere A KH instability rendered visible by clouds over Mount Duval in Australia Kelvin–Helmholtz instability can occur when velocity shear is present within a continuous fluid or when there is sufficient velocity... {{Infobox Cloud | name = Cirrostratus cloud | image location = Cirrostratus02. ... A cirrocumulus is a high-altitude cloud, usually occurring at 20,000-40,000 ft (6,000-12,000 m). ... Cumulonimbus with Pileus Pileus on a Cumulus cloud A pileus (Latin for cap) is a small, horizontal cloud that can appear above a cumulus or cumulonimbus cloud, giving the parent cloud a characteristic hoodlike appearance. ... Contrails are condensation trails (sometimes vapour trails): artificial cirrus clouds made by the exhaust of aircraft engines or wingtip vortices which precipitate a stream of tiny ice crystals in moist, frigid upper air. ... Altostratus is a cloud belonging to a class characterized by a generally uniform gray sheet or layer, lighter in color than nimbostratus and darker than cirrostratus. ... Image provided by Simon Eugster The altostratus undulatus is a type of low altocumulus cloud with signature undulations within it. ... ... The altocumulus undulatus is a mid-level cloud (about 8000 - 20,000 ft or 2400 - 6100 m), usually white or grey with layers or patches containing undulations that resemble waves or ripples in water. ... A mackerel sky is an indicator of moisture (the cloud) and instability (the cumulus form) at intermediate levels (2400-6100 m, 8000-20,000 ft). ... Altocumulus Castellanus is a family B type cloud. ... Lenticular clouds, technically known as altocumulus standing lenticularis, are stationary lens-shaped clouds that form at high altitudes, normally aligned at right-angles to the wind direction. ... For other uses, see Fog (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Stratus. ... Nimbostratus has very few features. ... Cumulus humilis is what is commonly referred to as fair weather cumulus. In hot countries and over mountainous terrain these clouds occur at up to 6000 meters altitude, though elsewhere they are typically found lower. ... Cumulus mediocris is a cloud form of the cumulus family, slightly larger in vertical development than Cumulus humilis. ... A stratocumulus cloud belongs to a class characterized by large dark, rounded masses, usually in groups, lines, or waves, the individual elements being larger than those in altocumuli, and the whole being at a lower altitude, usually below 2,400 m (8,000 ft). ... An arcus cloud is a low, horizontal cloud formation associated with the leading edge of thunderstorm outflow (i. ... Cumulonimbus (Cb) is a type of cloud that is tall, dense, and involved in thunderstorms and other intense weather. ... A cumulonimbus incus cloud has a characteristic anvil-top shape. ... Cumulonimbus calvus is an moderately tall cumulonimbus cloud which is capable of precipitation, but has not yet reached the height where it forms into a cumulonimbus incus (anvil-top). ... Mammatus (also known as mamma or mammatocumulus, meaning breast-cloud) is a meteorological term applied to a cellular pattern of pouches hanging underneath the base of a cloud. ... Cumulus congestus clouds are characteristic of unstable areas of the atmosphere which are undergoing convection. ... Cumulus castellanus (from Latin castellanus, castle) is a type of cumulus cloud that is distinctive because it displays multiple towers arising from its top, indicating significant vertical air movement. ... Pyrocumulus, or fire cumulus, is a dense cumuliform cloud usually found at an altitude of 1500 m. ... The pyrocumulonimbus (pyroCb) is a type of cloud formed above a source of heat such as a wildfire or industrial plant. ... Noctilucent clouds (also known as polar mesospheric clouds) are rare bright cloudlike atmospheric phenomena visible in a deep twilight (the name means roughly night shining). They are most commonly observed in the summer months at latitudes between 50° and 60° (north and south). ... Polar stratospheric clouds (PSCs), also known as nacreous clouds, are clouds in the winter polar stratosphere at altitudes of 15,000–25,000 metres (50,000–80,000 ft). ...

 
 

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