Description & Characteristics. Altostratus clouds are found in the middle cloud level. And unlike their altocumulus counterpart, they’re often boring to look at. Along with nimbostratus clouds, these clouds don’t have any species associated with them.
But they do come with a handful of cloud varieties, which can help you make the determination if you’re looking at an altostratus cloud or not. If you see a cloud covering the sky’s entirety that’s not very close to the ground, and it’s positioned such that it’s visible through the clouds but giving off a ‘frosted glass’ appearance, chances are good that you’re observing an altostratus translucidus cloud. On the flip side, if the cloud is opaque and you can’t see the sun’s position, then consider it an altostratus opacus.
These clouds can also be responsible for precipitation, though it’s short-lived and not very common. You might also find scud clouds (pannus cloud accessory) underneath the main cloud layer, which can be one more indication that you’re looking at an altostratus cloud.