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From: Dan Richter (1:317/3)
To: All
Date: Wed, 31.03.21 13:00
ES Picture of the Day 31 2021
EPOD - a service of USRA

The Earth Science Picture of the Day (EPOD) highlights the diverse processes
and phenomena which shape our planet and our lives. EPOD will collect and
archive photos, imagery, graphics, and artwork with short explanatory
captions and links exemplifying features within the Earth system. The
community is invited to contribute digital imagery, short captions and
relevant links.

A Bountiful Flock of Floccus Clouds

March 31, 2021

Ray Floccus Clouds

Photographer: Ray Boren
Summary Author: Ray Boren

On a pleasant day poised between autumn and winter, I strolled out
of a favorite bookstore in downtown Bountiful, Utah and happened to
glance upward. Directly overhead was a beautiful, cloud-splashed sky. I
had parked my car alongside a park-like city block featuring the
Bountiful Tabernacle, a Greek Revival meetinghouse built by
Mormon pioneers, which seemed an ideal counterpoint to the speckled

These are apparently altocumulus floccus clouds that looked very
much like billowy cotton or fleecy puffballs spilling across a blue
canvas. In meteorology, the Latin term altocumulus refers to high
and heaped, or massed, globular clouds at a medium altitude of about
6,500 to 22,000 feet (1,980-6,700 m) in elevation. Floccus
indicates that they resemble tufts of wool.

I wondered if this might be a mackerel sky, so-called for a
fish-scale pattern. Seeking a better understanding, I sent the image to
the Cloud Appreciation Society with a sheepish query, and a monitor
there responded that a mackerel pattern is more accurately associated
with similar Altocumulus undulatus clouds, which have a noticeably
undulating wave pattern, not obvious here. The World Meteorological
Organization’s International Cloud Atlas notes that Altocumulus
floccus clouds sometimes form when the base of a larger, crenelated
Altocumulus castellans formation dissipates, which is likely what
happened on this pretty day. Photo taken Nov. 30, 2020.
* Bountiful, Utah Coordinates: 40.88933, -111.87976

Related EPODs

A Bountiful Flock of Floccus Clouds Pink Virga Helical
Clouds Archive - South Sandwich Wakes Changing Clouds Ahead
Kelvin-Helmholtz Clouds Over Albuquerque, New Mexico

Cloud Links

* Atmospheric Optics
* The Cloud Appreciation Society
* Cloud Atlas
* Color and Light in Nature

Earth Science Picture of the Day is a service of the Universities
Space Research Association.

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