Comma Clouds

August 21, 2004

Coma_clouds copy

Provided and copyright by: Eric Peterson, Membrane Technology & Research
Summary authors & editors: Eric Peterson; Jim Foster

While swimming at the neighborhood pool in San Jose, California, I noticed these unusually shaped clouds punctuating the afternoon sky. Three small clouds that looked like commas were lined up on this late May day, evenly spaced and slowly drifting across the sky. There must have been something in between them that called for some degree of separation but wasn't visible to the unaided eye. Even though these clouds appear to be rather low in the sky, they're likely high altitude, cirrus (uncinus) clouds -- filaments of white that terminate in a tuft or hook shape. Cirrus clouds are generally associated with stable air masses.

Related Links: