Description & Characteristics. Altocumulus clouds are typically found in groups or heaps clumped together. They’re found in the middle layer of the troposphere, lower than cirrocumulus and higher than their cumulus and stratocumulus counterparts. The term mackerel sky is also common to altocumulus (and cirrocumulus) clouds that display a pattern resembling fish scales. Of all the ten different cloud types, you’ll probably find that altocumulus clouds are the one of the most diverse and dynamic in terms of appearance.
These clouds can take on a handful of shapes and sizes. They can include cloud heaps that resemble towering castles (castellanus cloud species), can sometimes resemble a lock of wool (cloud species floccus), can cover the entire sky on occasion (stratiformis cloud species), and can even create horizontal tube-like structured clouds (volutus cloud species).
Altocumulus are also known for creating UFO-shaped clouds (lenticularis cloud species), are responsible for a lot of the fallstreak hole sightings (i.e. hole punch clouds) you might be lucky enough to see (cavum cloud feature), and on the rarest of occasion, can produce a wavy, chaotic appearance (asperitas cloud feature).