Cirrus vertebratus

Cirrus vertebratus is a type of cirrus cloud. The name cirrus vertebratus is derived from Latin, meaning "jointed, articulated, vertebrated".[2] Like cirrus intortus, the vertebratus species is exclusive to the cirrus genus.[3] Cirrus vertebratus gives the impression of vertebrae in a spinal column, ribs, or a fish skeleton.[4]

Cirrus vertebratus
Cirrus vertebratus cloud
AbbreviationCi ve
GenusCirrus (curl of hair)
Speciesvertebratus (like a spinal column)
AltitudeAbove 6,000 m
(Above 20,000 ft)
Appearancelooks like a spinal column or a fish skeleton[1]
Precipitation cloud?No

The species is an unusual form of cirrus clouds and is formed by air moving parallel to the main cloud line. The gaps in the cloud occur where air is descending, while the "ribs" of the cloud correspond with areas of uplift. Their occurrence appears to be connected with the location of the jet stream.[5]

See also


  1. Wolken Online. "Cirrus". Cloud Atlas. Retrieved 13 July 2011.
  2. Numen - The Latin Lexicon. "Definition of vertebratus". Retrieved 13 July 2011.
  3. Dunlop, Storm (2003). The weather identification handbook (1st Lyons Press ed.). Guilford, Conn.: Lyons Press. p. 58. ISBN 1-58574-857-9.
  4. Callanan, Martin. "Cirrus vertebratus". International Cloud Atlas. Retrieved 13 July 2011.
  5. Wolstanton Weather. "Cumulus Clouds". Clouds. Archived from the original on 27 March 2013. Retrieved 13 July 2011.

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