Cirrus Cirrostratus Cirrocumulus Altocumulus Altostratus
Stratocumulus Stratus Nimbostratus Cumulus Cumulonimbus
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Cloud Atlas -> Altostratus

Altostratus (As)

Dense, gray layer cloud, often evenly and opaquely, which lets the sun shine through only a little.


  • By rise of expanded air layers into higher altitudes.

  • From other clouds: From Cirrostratus, which increases; from Altocumulus with numerous ice crystal dragging (virga), which gives it a monotonous appearance; from Nimbostratus, which decreases; from Cumulonimbus by propagation of the middle and upper frozen cloud sections at inversions.

Possible cloud species, subspecies and special forms:

name abbr. meaning
Altostratus undulatus As un with wave formations
Altostratus radiatus As ra Parallel stripes of the cloud, which gathers apparently on the horizon.
Altostratus duplicatus As du Two or several closely one above the other lying Altostraus layers, which can partly grow together (dirty weather!).
Altostratus translucidus As tr Sun is to be recognized weakly through the cloud cover.
Altostratus opacus As op Sun or moon is completely covered by the clouds.
special forms
name abbr. meaning
Altostratus mamma As mam sac-like, wart-like excrescences at the bottom side of the cloud
Altostratus virga As vir with drop strips
Altostratus praecipitatio As pra With precipitation, which reaches the ground.
Altostratus pannus As pan With cloud frazzles, which result in more deeply lying turbulent layers from dampness enrichment from evaporating precipitation.

photos of Altostratus:

Altostratus opacus Altostratus pannus Altostratus duplicatus Altostratus translucidus
Altostratus undulatus Altostratus radiatus Altostratus mamma Altostratus virga

other Altostratus clouds: [1][2]

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