Altocumulus at Sunset

November 11, 2003


Provided by: Christine Churchill
Summary authors & editors: Christine Churchill; Jim Foster

The photo above was taken in northern California this past July and shows a beautiful altocumulus cloud deck at sunset. Westerly winds flowing over the Pacific Ocean helped form these gossamer-like clouds. Altocumulus clouds are classified as mid-altitude clouds. They typically form several miles (2-6 km) above the surface and consists largely of water droplets rather than ice crystals.

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