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  • Cirrocumulus is one of the three main genus-types of high-altitude tropospheric clouds, which also includes cirrus and cirrostratus. They usually occur at an altitude of 5 kilometres to 12 kilometres. Like lower altitude cumuliform and stratocumuliform clouds, cirrocumulus signifies convection. Unlike other high cirrus and cirrostratus, cirrocumulus includes a small amount of liquid water droplets, although these are in a supercooled state. Ice crystals are the predominant component, and typically, the ice crystals cause the supercooled water drops in the cloud to rapidly freeze, transforming the cirrocumulus into cirrostratus. This process can also produce precipitation in the form of a virga consisting of ice or snow. Thus cirrocumulus clouds are usually short-lived. They usually only form as part of a short-lived transitionary phase within an area of cirrus clouds and can also form briefly as a result of the breaking up of part of a cumulonimbus anvil. Properly, the term cirrocumulus refers to each cloud, but is typically also used to refer to an entire patch of cirrocumulus. When used in this way, each cirrocumulus element is referred to as a "cloudlet". Wikipedia

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