Altocumulus from the ISS
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 grey, and often occurs in sheets or patches with wavy, rounded masses or rolls. A sheet of partially conjoined altocumulus perlucidus is sometimes found preceding a weakening warm front, where the altostratus is starting to fragment, resulting in patches of altocumulus perlucidus between the areas of altostratus, or more rarely, an entire sky of the perlucidus variety.
Photo: Cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin and the Russian Space Agency Press Services