By: Meteorologist Courtney Steimann
Updated: Feb 26th 2019

Courtney's Cloud Corner: Cirrus Clouds

Commonly known for their wispy appearance, the Cirrus clouds are known to be present in fair conditions. These high level clouds are located around 20,000 to 40,000 feet above the ground, and are composed of ice crystal because of their high elevation. Even though they are considered to be a sign of fair conditions, they are created from the precipitation falling from the clouds. The precipitation then is “wisped” to the side from the high winds that come with the high elevation they are formed in. The precipitation that does fall is then evaporated, which gives the notion that they are formed in fair weather.

Not only can the Cirrus cloud tell us that there is fair weather conditions, but it can also tell us of an incoming warm front moving in or an upper level jet streak. They can be see in different types as well. The Cirrus cloud can be seen as a Cirrocumulus cloud, which appears  “puffy” at the Cirrus high level of elevation. The Cirrostratus clouds is also a high level cloud, but appears more like a blanket that is covering the sky. Whichever cloud type you may look at, it may wisp your heart away.

Cirrus Clouds above a farm field in fair weather c
Cirrus Clouds above a farm field in fair weather conditions.