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S'COOL: Cirrus Clouds

image of cirrus clouds at sunset   Cirrus at Sunset

Outside of Pittsburgh, PA. July 10, 2010. Beautiful cirrus clouds stretch across the sky. Photo by Amy Lankey.

image of cirrus clouds at sunset   Cirrus at Sunset

This is a great shot of feathery cirrus turned pink by the setting sun, and with some very distinct persistent contrails running through the sky. Photo by Ed Donovan, South Carolina, July 2003.

image of cirrus clouds - crescent moon   Cirrus and Crescent Moon

Thicker cirrus - note the feathery edges of the cloud - with a crescent moon in a deep blue sky. Photo by Dr. Bruce Wielicki, CERES PI, in the late 1970s.

image of cirrus clouds at sunset   Cirrus at Sunset

Another example of relatively thick cirrus here illuminated in pink and purple hues by the setting sun. Looks like colored cotton candy. Photo by Dr. Bruce Wielicki, CERES PI, in the late 1970s.

image of cirrus clouds at the outer edge of a hurricane   Cirrus at the outer edge of a hurricane

This image was taken on Sept. 10, 2005, around 4 pm, as Hurricane Ophelia was doing an erratic dance off the coast of North Carolina. This picture shows the very outer edges of the hurricane in southeastern Virginia, as it first approached the area. It retreated soon after that, giving us nary a drop of rain to break the long dry spell. Photo by Dr. David Kratz, NASA Langley.

image of cirrus clouds   Cirrus

This photo shows transparent to translucent cirrus covering most of the sky. Photo by Kevin Larman.

image of wispy cirrus clouds   Wispy Cirrus

This photo shows transparent to translucent cirrus streaks, and illustrates why cirrus clouds are often described as mare's tails. The streaks come from falling ice particles that make up the clouds. Photo by Lin Chambers, August, 2002.

image of scattered cirrus clouds   Scattered Cirrus

This photo shows very scattered (cloud cover a few percent) transparent cirrus clouds, with evidence of more clouds in the distance at the horizon. This photo was taken over a lake in Sweden on Oct. 24, 1997, by Mats Furugard and his students.

image of cirrus clouds   Cirrus

This image was taken on April 17, 1999 in southeastern Virginia. It is a really interesting cirrus cloud type. Photo by Lin Chambers.

image of cirrus clouds   Cirrus

Here is a beautiful photo of cirrus clouds. In Particular, to the left of the palm tree you can see the distinctive patterns of falling ice crystals, called fall streaks. Photo taked by Doug Stoddard in March 2002, in Puerto Rico.

image of cirrus clouds over cumulus clouds   Cirrus

This is a rarer manifestation of cirrus. Rather than fall streaks, which nicely show wind direction, this one suggests that the wind is fairly constant at the cloud altitude, and the cirrus ice particles are falling more or less straight down; resulting in spiral shaped streaks. Photo taken by Doug Stoddard in March 2002, in St. Thomas.

image of cirrus clouds over cumulus clouds   Cirrus over Cumulus

This is a great, and fairly typical shot of high thin cirrus over low cumulus clouds in the Tropics. Photo taken by Doug Stoddard in March 2002, in Puerto Rico.

image of cirrus clouds over cumulus clouds   Cirrus over Cumulus

This is a nice multi-layer tropical cloud situation, with low cumulus and high cirrus clouds both present. Photo take by Doug Stoddard in March 2002, in Puerto Rico.

image of feathery cirrus with cumulus   Feathery Cirrus with Cumulus

This is a beautiful feathery cirrus cloud, with some small emerging or evaporating cumulus clouds below. Note the completely different texture of the two cloud types. Photo by Lin Chambers, Pleasant Lake, New Hampshire, July 2003.


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Page Curator: Tina Rogerson
NASA Official : Lin Chambers
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