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About Floccus

When higher clouds are in small clumps or patches with very soft, fluffy edges, they are described as floccus. The name comes from the Latin for a tuft of wool, a piece of fluff, the little thing you find in your belly button. (Not the last one, actually). Floccus formations can be found up at the high-cloud level, as forms of Cirrus or Cirrocumulus, and at the mid-cloud level, as a soft looking, ice-crystal form of Altocumulus cloud.

Floccus clouds often have trails of ice crystals falling from them. For the lower examples, you’d describe these trails as virga. For the high examples of floccus, you wouldn’t – the trails are just another feature of the general cascade of ice crystals that we describe collectively as cirroform clouds.

Image: Spotted over Les Chosalets, Chamonix, Rhône-Alpes, France by eystein.





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