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Altocumulus stratiformis occurring as a sheet or layer with detached elements


This type of Altocumulus is generally less than 500 m (1 650 ft) thick.

Below the cloud. Viewed from below, this cloud appears as a broken sheet or layer. It may be either translucent everywhere or partly translucent and partly opaque. It is white, sometimes with grey.

Within the cloud. This cloud is composed of small water droplets, sometimes accompanied by ice crystals. Light aircraft icing may occur. Turbulence is weak to moderate.

Above the cloud. When viewed from above, this cloud appears smooth and undulated, or may appear fleecy. There are distinct gaps through which lower clouds or the ground can be seen. Well-developed cumuliform clouds, which formed at a lower level, may penetrate through the cloud layer. Occasionally, thin sheets or patches are found about 100–300 m (330–1 000 ft) above the main layer (Altocumulus duplicatus). A glory, sometimes accompanied by a fog bow, may be observed on the cloud elements. A subsun (undersun) may appear, usually in the hazy, ice crystal-filled parts between the cloud elements.


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