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Duplicatus – A Rare Cloud Formation

Cirrostratus Duplicatus cloud

Cirrostratus Duplicatus cloud

Duplicatus is one of the rare clouds listed in the Cloud Collectors Handbook and is assigned 25 points + 15 bonus points in the collector’s scoring table.  The name Duplicatus refers to a cloud formation of different layers.

The rarity of Duplicatus clouds is not due to occurence but to visibility.

When this formation occurs in lower-level, dense clouds such as Stratocumulus (composed of moisture droplets rather than ice crystals) the different layers are not visible.  In higher level clouds such as Cirrus (composed of ice crystals and transparent) the various layers are able to be seen.  These split layers can point in different directions indicating differences in the direction of wind currents at each layer.

I noticed the Duplicatus in the attached photograph early on one cool morning recently. The filamentous display of Cirrostratus Dulicatus was spread out over most of the sky, which provided a lovely, deep-blue background.  Judy and I enjoyed the clear, cool morning and the cloud display for about 15 minutes after which it began to slowly disperse.

I rather enjoy Cirrus cloud formations even though their diffuse nature makes them difficult to photograph. Illustrations of their beauty occur in an earlier blog.

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