Lacunosus Cloud Variety: Perforated, Frayed Holes

  1. WhatsThisCloud
  2. Cloud Varieties
  3. Lacunosus Cloud Variety

Definition: A cloud variety that's full of holes, often resembling a honeycomb

Description & Characteristics. The ‘lacunosus’ cloud variety can be found amongst three cloud types: cirrocumulus, altocumulus, and stratocumulus. Translated from latin, meaning full of gaps, the three types of lacunosus clouds are respectively abbreviated as ‘Cc la’, ‘Ac la’, and ‘Sc la’. Lacunosus cloud formations can be easily depicted from other cloud varieties by their distinct honeycomb appearance. It’s not every day you see clouds with holes in them.

The lacunosus cloud variety is rare. It’s more commonly seen in cirrocumulus clouds followed by altocumulus clouds. It’s especially rare to see stratocumulus lacunosus clouds. One of the reasons they’re so rare is because they’re very short-lived, usually lasting only several minutes. These clouds are formed when a layer of rising warm air and layer of cold air come into contact with one another.

Often times, lacunosus clouds will be found in the stratiformis cloud species. Finally, don’t confuse lacunosus clouds with the cavum cloud feature, otherwise known as a fallstreak hole or hole punch. Fallstreaks are one very large hole where lacunosus can be differentiated by many tinier holes, sometimes described as a fishing net.

Altocumulus lacunosus (Ac la)
Altocumulus lacunosus (Ac la)
Cirrocumulus stratiformis lacunosus (Cc str la)
Cirrocumulus stratiformis lacunosus undulatus (Cc str la un)
A photograph of altocumulus lacunosus clouds (Ac la) in the sky

Lacunosus Cloud Types

The lacunosus cloud variety is associated with the following three cloud types: cirrocumulus, altocumulus, and stratocumulus.

A graphical illustration of a cirrocumulus lacunosus cloud

Cirrocumulus (Cc)

High-altitude cloudlets

A graphical illustration of an altocumulus lacunosus cloud

Altocumulus (Ac)

Mid-altitude cloud heaps

A graphical illustration of a stratocumulus lacunosus cloud

Stratocumulus (Sc)

Low, puffy layer