One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Cloud forming a layer of rounded masses with a level base, occurring at medium altitude, usually 6,500–23,000 feet (2–7 km).
- ‘No altocumulus cloud anywhere in Earth's real atmosphere would be caught dead above 20,000 feet.’
- ‘The sun was just beginning to set in the distance, casting a hazy, pink glow over everything in sight as the altocumulus clouds slowly turned a soft orange.’
- ‘It is caused by light shining through thin altocumulus, which causes the light to bend as it passes through the water droplets within the cloud.’
- ‘It is called altocumulus lenticularis - a lens-shaped cloud which people in New Zealand call hogs' backs.’
- ‘By the time we had a task and were ready to rock the wind had backed off to only 10 km/h, and with the sun being blocked from wide spread altocumulus clouds conditions suddenly were barely soarable.’
Late 19th century: from modern Latin alto- (from Latin altus ‘high’) + cumulus.
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