Description & Characteristics. The ‘duplicatus’ cloud variety can be found amongst five cloud types: cirrus, cirrostratus, altocumulus, altostratus, and stratocumulus. Translated from latin, meaning double, the five types of duplicatus clouds are respectively abbreviated as ‘Ci du’, ‘Cs du’, ‘Ac du’, ‘As du’, and ‘Sc du’. When attempting to identify the duplicatus cloud variety, look for clouds of the same cloud type that exist at slightly different heights.
As a cloudspotter, duplicatus cloud formations are a bit tougher to pick out. Maybe it’s because they aren’t often thought of upon observation, or perhaps it’s because sometimes the second layer of cloud isn’t easily visible through the first. It’s easier to pick out cirrus duplicatus and cirrostratus duplicatus clouds when these clouds are of the cloud species fibratus since often times, the fibrous wisps will be traveling in different directions, thus indicating they’re found at different altitudes.
One popular cloud classification that’s associated with the duplicatus cloud variety is altocumulus lenticularis duplicatus, otherwise known as stacked lenticular clouds. This describes the classic UFO shape clouds that can sometimes be found stacked like pancakes or dinner plates. When looking to identify the duplicatus variety in other altocumulus and stratocumulus clouds, keep your eyes peeled for overlapping stratiformis sheets, where one horizontal cloud layer might be a little higher or lower than the other.