Cirrocumulus clouds forming a Mackerel Sky

Cirrocumulus clouds forming a Mackerel Sky

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Credit: PEKKA PARVIAINEN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Cirrocumulus clouds. Sky filled with lines of small, cirrocumulus cloudlets, to form a "Mackerel Sky". Cirrocumulus clouds form at an altitude of 5000-6000 metres and above and are composed largely of ice crystals. They may form in lines, groups or ripples. The effect is caused because of atmospheric instability which allows rising air currents to create the cloudlets and descending currents to clear spaces between them. The presence of cirrocumulus clouds indicates the approach of a frontal system and changing weather. Photographed in Finland.

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Keywords: cirrocumulus, cirrocumulus cloud, climate, cloud, cloud types, clouds, mackerel sky, meteorology, type, weather

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