Everything you need to know about clouds – the continuing story!
Cloud genera are divided into species to account for their particular shape and internal structure. Certain species only appear within specific genera, but many species are common to multiple genera. Clouds are identified by their genus and then their species, e.g., cirrius fibratus or altocumulus stratiformis.
1. Fibratus. A thin veil of clouds, fibratus clouds are either cirrus or cirrostratus clouds. Unlike most cirrus clouds, however, fibratus clouds do not have tufts or hooks at the end, and the strands are clearly separate from one another.
2. Uncinus. This species of cirrus cloud is distinct for its hook-at-the-end feature.
3. Spissatus. A species of cirrus clouds, spissatus clouds are the densest cirrus clouds you’ll see. They’re even able to hide the sun if they’re dense enough.
4. Castellanus. This species of cloud appears in cirrus, cirrocumulus, attocumulus and stratocumulus clouds. The tops of castellanus clouds form turrets, which give it that castle-like appearance.
5. Floccus. These clouds have small tufts at their tops with a ragged base. They often have a virga, or streak of precipitation, trailing after the tuft. The species manifests as cirrus, cirrocumulus, altocumulus (pictured) and stratocumulus clouds.
6. Stratiformis. A species found in altocumulus and stratocumulus clouds, stratiformis clouds are an extensive layer or sheet of their particular cloud.
7. Nebulosus. This cloud species, found among stratus and cirrostratus clouds, is a veil without any distinct details.
8. Lenticularis. Appearing primarily as cirrocumulus, altocumulus and stratocumulus clouds, lenticularis clouds appear in almond- or lens-shaped arrangements. This also makes lenticularis clouds great as UFOs. [Ed: And has glider pilots wetting their pants in excitement. For these ‘wave’ clouds are always a sign of strong, reliable lift!]
9. Volutus. It’s hard to miss volutus clouds. Also known as roll clouds due to their distinct shape and movement, volutus clouds are typically stratocumulus clouds and are completely separated from any other clouds.
10. Fractus. As their name implies, fractus clouds are stratus and cumulus clouds that have ragged, irregular shreds. These clouds have often broken away from another, larger cloud.
OK! That’s it for today.