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Altocumulus Clouds Northeast of Cork, Ireland

51.8N 8.4W

December 17th, 2010 Category: Clouds

Ireland - December 17th, 2010

Cork Harbour, visible towards the center of the coastline, is a natural harbour and river estuary at the mouth of the River Lee in County Cork, Ireland. The city of Cork is located slightly upstream on the River Lee on the northwest corner of Cork Harbour.

Upon opening the full image, various different kinds of clouds can be observed over Ireland. Those in the lower right quadrant are known as “popcorn” clouds due to their dotted formation, while those in the upper right are altocumulus clouds.

Altocumulus (Alto, “high”, cumulus, “heaped”) is a cloud belonging to a class characterized by globular masses or rolls in layers or patches, the individual elements being larger and darker than those of cirrocumulus and smaller than those of stratocumulus.

Like other cumulus clouds, altocumulus signifies convection. It is usually white or gray, and often occurs in sheets or patches with wavy, rounded masses or rolls. Altocumulus often are seen preceding a cold front, and their presence on a warm, humid, summer morning frequently signals the development of thunderstorms later in the day.

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