NCAR/UCAR Image and Multimedia Gallery

The NCAR|UCAR Image and Multimedia Gallery includes photos and illustrations of weather, water, climate, and solar phenomena. GET STARTED: In the SEARCH OPENSKY box above, enter words such as air pollution, clouds, floods, lightning, rainbows, tornadoes, or storms - to name just a few possibilities. The gallery also includes photos of scientists and engineers at work, research instruments and aircraft, field projects, landscapes, educational settings, supercomputers, NCAR|UCAR facilities, and more. Use this CREDIT for all images: Copyright University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR). By [insert name of photographer when listed], licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) License, via OpenSky. (For commercial use contact copyright@ucar.edu.)


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Alpenglow near Independence, CA (DI01543)
Alpenglow near Independence, CA (DI01543)
Alpenglow on the Sierra Nevada mountains near Independence, CA during the T-REX field project.
Alpenglow near Independence, CA (DI01607)
Alpenglow near Independence, CA (DI01607)
Alpenglow on the Sierra Nevada mountains near Independence, CA during the T-REX field project.
Altocumulus castellanus (DI00070)
Altocumulus castellanus (DI00070)
Occasionally altocumulus clouds show vertical development and produce tower-like extensions. The clouds often resemble floating castles, and for this reason are called altocumulus castellanus. They form when rising currents within the cloud extend into unstable air above. These castellanus clouds are in the early stages of development.
Altocumulus castellanus (DI00098)
Altocumulus castellanus (DI00098)
Occasionally altocumulus clouds show vertical development and produce tower-like extensions. The clouds often resemble floating castles and for this reason are called altocumulus castellanus. They form when rising currents within the cloud extend into unstable air above. These castellanus clouds are in the early stages of development.
Altocumulus cloud (DI00872), Photo by Caspar Ammann
Altocumulus cloud (DI00872), Photo by Caspar Ammann
Altocumulus clouds form above 18,000 feet (5500 meters). The mackerel sky appearance reveals the rising and falling of many air parcels across a small distance.
Altocumulus cloud filled sky (DI02674), Photograph by Carlye Calvin
Altocumulus cloud filled sky (DI02674), Photograph by Carlye Calvin
Altocumulus clouds are middle level clouds that are made of water droplets and appear as gray, puffy masses, sometimes rolled out in parallel waves or bands. The appearance of these clouds on a warm, humid summer morning often means thunderstorms may occur by late afternoon.
Altocumulus clouds (DI00116)
Altocumulus clouds (DI00116)
Altocumulus clouds, one of the main types of mid-level clouds, usually form at altitudes between 2,000 and 7,500 meters (6,500 and 25,000 feet). They appear in patches made up of small puffs that are often arranged in rows or bands. Higher cirrus clouds are evident in the bright, solid pattern behind these altocumulus clouds.
Altocumulus clouds (DI01777)
Altocumulus clouds (DI01777)
Altocumulus clouds form above 18,000 feet (5500 meters). The mackerel sky appearance reveals the rising and falling of many air parcels across a small distance.
Altocumulus clouds (DI02130) Photo by Carlye Calvin
Altocumulus clouds (DI02130) Photo by Carlye Calvin
Altocumulus clouds form above 18,000 feet (5500 meters). The mackerel sky appearance reveals the rising and falling of many air parcels across a small distance.
Altocumulus clouds with crepuscular rays (DI00673), Photo by Carlye Calvin
Altocumulus clouds with crepuscular rays (DI00673), Photo by Carlye Calvin
Altocumulus clouds are intermediate-level clouds with a patchy layer of cells that appear flattened or globular. These clouds are arranged in groups, lines, or waves, with individual clouds sometimes so close together that their edges join. The streaks of sunlight visible behind the clouds are known as crepuscular rays.
Altocumulus undulatus (DI00869), Photo by Caspar Ammann
Altocumulus undulatus (DI00869), Photo by Caspar Ammann
A field of altocumulus undulatus spreads across the sky. The regular pattern in these mid-level clouds reveals an atmospheric wave traveling along the boundary between two air masses, one below the cloud level and another above it.
Altostratus (DI00133), Photo by Gary Barnes
Altostratus (DI00133), Photo by Gary Barnes
Altostratus (from stratus, meaning layer) are middle level clouds, found at altitudes of 2,000 to 8,000 meters (6,500-26,000 feet). Usually gray or blue gray in color (these appear red due to the setting sun), they often cover the sky in dense sheets. Through thinner sections of the clouds, the sun or moon may appear as if seen through frosted glass. In the upper right is a deck of altocumulus clouds, which appear as a mass of small puffs, arranged in rows.

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