Altocumulus Lacunosus

Above: Altocumulus Lacunosus

Altocumulus Lacunosus

The term lacunosus is Latin meaning "full of holes" and as such when describing lacunosus clouds, these are clouds that are more distinct by their absence then by their presence. The altocumulus lacunosus clouds are part of the genus of the altocumulus clouds and are generally classified as middle range clouds.

What height are altocumulus lacunosus found?

The altocumulus lacunosus clouds may be formed at all levels although because it falls under the genus of altocumulus, this signifies middle range clouds that form at between 6,500 to 13,000 feet most commonly.

Classification of altocumulus lacunosus clouds

While there is no classification of the altocumulus lacunosus clouds, the reality is that the lacunosus clouds have their own classification. The classification of the lacunosus clouds is determined by the level at which the cloud is formed, therefore :

  • If the lacunosus cloud is formed at a high level, meaning in excess of 16,000 feet, then it will be classified as a cirrocumulus lacunosus; whereas


  • If the lacunosus cloud is formed at middle level as mentioned earlier, then it will be classified as a altocumulus lacunosus cloud; and of course


  • If the lacunosus cloud is formed at a lower level, it will be classified as a stratocumulus lacunosus cloud.

How are altocumulus lacunosus clouds formed?

Normally altocumulus lacunosus clouds are formed because of the sinking pockets of air that exist and these result in the holes that are formed, whereas the cloud fringes are created by the air rising between the holes in the clouds. Basically where the cooler air sinks through the warm air, these result in holes in the altocumulus lacunosus clouds and where the cooler is captured by the warmer air, the fluff of the altocumulus lacunosus clouds are formed.

What do altocumulus lacunosus clouds look like?

The altocumulus lacunosus clouds normally look like a loose honeycomb with rough holes between the clouds. There are also commonly holes along the fringes of the altocumulus lacunosus clouds. As a general rule, the lower the lacunosus cloud, the larger the holes that are formed and the higher the lacunosus cloud, the smaller the holes appear to be.

How common are altocumulus lacunosus clouds?

There clouds are less common and found all over the world although they are mid level clouds and prone to change where there are strong winds or jet streams. In some parts of the Western hemisphere, the altocumulus lacunosus clouds are considered to be a rarity.

Where can I see altocumulus lacunosus clouds?

Altocumulus lacunosus clouds are found all over the world but arguably most visible during the warmer seasons in certain countries whereas more frequently visible all year round in countries that enjoy tropical weather.

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