Cirrostratus clouds are thin, generally uniform clouds, composed of ice-crystals. They are difficult to detect and if capable of forming halos the cloud takes the form of thin cirrostratus nebulosus. Its presence indicates a large amount of moisture in the upper atmosphere. Cirrostratus clouds sometimes signal the beginning of a warm front if they form after cirrus and spread from one area across the sky and thus may be signs that precipitation might follow in the next 12 to 24 hours.

Cirrostratus clouds are thin, generally uniform clouds, composed of ice-crystals. They are difficult to detect and if capable of forming halos the cloud takes the form of thin cirrostratus nebulosus. Its presence indicates a large amount of moisture in the upper atmosphere. Cirrostratus clouds sometimes signal the beginning of a warm front if they form after cirrus and spread from one area across the sky and thus may be signs that precipitation might follow in the next 12 to 24 hours.

Cirrostratus clouds form more of a widespread, veil-like layer (similar to what stratus clouds do in low levels).  When sunlight or moonlight passes through the hexagonal-shaped ice crystals of cirrostratus clouds, the light is dispersed or refracted (similar to light passing through a prism) in such a way that a familiar ring or halo may form. As a warm front approaches, cirrus clouds tend to thicken into cirrostratus, which may, in turn, thicken and lower into altostratus, stratus, and…

Cirrostratus clouds form more of a widespread, veil-like layer (similar to what stratus clouds do in low levels). When sunlight or moonlight passes through the hexagonal-shaped ice crystals of cirrostratus clouds, the light is dispersed or refracted (similar to light passing through a prism) in such a way that a familiar ring or halo may form. As a warm front approaches, cirrus clouds tend to thicken into cirrostratus, which may, in turn, thicken and lower into altostratus, stratus, and…

cirrostratus clouds

cirrostratus clouds

CIRROSTRATUS over Low Clouds A very thin and uniform layer of cirrostratus cloud over low clouds in Ohio. The low clouds are on the edge between cumulus and stratocumulus. Photo by Carolyn Green in Ohio, 2000.

CIRROSTRATUS over Low Clouds A very thin and uniform layer of cirrostratus cloud over low clouds in Ohio. The low clouds are on the edge between cumulus and stratocumulus. Photo by Carolyn Green in Ohio, 2000.

CIRROSTRATUS Haze This photo, taken near sunset in Colorado by Kevin Larman, show a very thin and very uniform cirrostratus cloud with streaks of thicker cirrus (perhaps old contrails?). Near the horizon some opaque low clouds are visible.

CIRROSTRATUS Haze This photo, taken near sunset in Colorado by Kevin Larman, show a very thin and very uniform cirrostratus cloud with streaks of thicker cirrus (perhaps old contrails?). Near the horizon some opaque low clouds are visible.

These are sun halos, which are produced by the ice crystals in cirrostratus clouds. - You’ll Never Believe What This Family Saw in the Sky Outside Their House in Finland.

These are sun halos, which are produced by the ice crystals in cirrostratus clouds. - You’ll Never Believe What This Family Saw in the Sky Outside Their House in Finland.

Cirrostratus Clouds: sheet-like and nearly transparent

Cirrostratus Clouds: sheet-like and nearly transparent

Distant CIRROSTRATUS Photo by Lin Chambers in Poquoson, VA, winter 1997. This shows high, thin cirrostratus clouds off near the horizon. Note the very transparent streaks of cirrus (called mare's tails) in the upper right.

Distant CIRROSTRATUS Photo by Lin Chambers in Poquoson, VA, winter 1997. This shows high, thin cirrostratus clouds off near the horizon. Note the very transparent streaks of cirrus (called mare's tails) in the upper right.

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