Nature's Veil - Cirrostratus

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Cirrostratus photo by Craig Johnson, Copyright 10-24-2018

Appearing as a smooth whitish veil, this cloud is a distinct example of classic cirrostratus. Milky and smooth, this cloud type may produce a halo, either partial or complete. Often cirrostratus is fibrous with thinner and thicker regions of cloud but true cirrostratus never completely blocks the Sun. The solar disk is always visible, either distinctly if the cloud is very thin or as a very diffuse disk.

Cirrostratus contain ice crystals and are often high enough where temperatures are below zero, even in the summer.

Below you will find a different type of cirrostratus. Taken on the same day about 15 minutes before the photo above this cirrostratus is laced with cirrus fibers around the edges as well as fibers within the cirrostratus itself. Sometimes it is hard to recognize where the cirrus ends and the cirrostratus begins. Identifying clouds can be a tricky process because clouds cannot always be put in nice neat boxes.

 Cirrostratus and Cirrus, Cedar Falls, Iowa, Photo by Craig Johnson, Copyright 10-24-2018

Cirrostratus and Cirrus, Cedar Falls, Iowa, Photo by Craig Johnson, Copyright 10-24-2018