How Do Cirrocumulus Clouds Form?

Cirrocumulus clouds are composed of supercooled water droplets and form through shallow convection within thin labile layers of air. These high-altitude clouds form between 16,600 and 30,000 feet.

These clouds possess a white or cotton-like globular appearance and will typically form together as a mass that has a rippled or wavelike pattern, usually in orderly groupings or formations. Cirrocumuli form sheets or layers that can be very difficult to spot against a blue sky. The presence of these clouds indicates a shallow pattern of upper-air convection and may be an early sign of the formation of a late afternoon thunderstorm.