Cirrus floccus

Cirrus floccus is a type of cirrus cloud. The name cirrus floccus is derived from Latin, meaning "a lock of wool".[1] Cirrus floccus occurs as small tufts of cloud, usually with a ragged base. The cloud can have virga falling from it, but the precipitation does not reach the ground.[2] The individual tufts are usually isolated from each other.[3] At formation, the cirrus floccus clouds are bright white and can be mistaken for altocumulus clouds; however, after a few minutes, the brightness begins to fade, indicating they are made up of pure ice, and are therefore at a higher level.[4]

Cirrus floccus
AbbreviationCi flo
GenusCirrus (curl of hair)
Speciesfloccus (flaked or puffy)
AltitudeAbove 5,000 m
(Above 16,500 ft)
Appearancesmall tufts
Precipitation cloud?Occasionally virga

See also


  1. Numen - The Latin Lexicon. "Definition of floccus". Retrieved 13 July 2011.
  2. Dunlop, Storm (2003). The weather identification handbook (1st Lyons Press ed.). Guilford, Conn.: Lyons Press. p. 57. ISBN 1-58574-857-9.
  3. Callanan, Martin. "Cirrus floccus". International Cloud Atlas. Retrieved 13 July 2011.
  4. Institute of Atmospheric Sciences at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology. "Cirrus (floccus)". A Guide to the Sky. Retrieved 13 July 2011.

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