Translucidus Cloud Variety: See-Through, Translucent

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Definition: A cloud variety describing a cloud of thin and translucent characteristics

Description & Characteristics. The ‘translucidus’ cloud variety can be found amongst four cloud types: altocumulus, altostratus, stratus, and stratocumulus. Translated from latin, meaning transparent, the four types of translucidus clouds are respectively abbreviated as ‘Ac tr’, ‘As tr’, ‘St tr’, and ‘Sc tr’. Of the nine cloud varieties, this is arguably the easiest to identify alongside the opacus cloud variety. Translucent cloud formations are transparent clouds where the sun’s position is visible.

It’s important to note that the translucidus cloud variety is the opposite of the opacus cloud variety. If you can see the sun through the cloud, you can safely classify the cloud as translucidus. Though clouds can have more than one variety applied to it, a cloud cannot be classified as translucidus and opacus simultaneously. When you see an altostratus cloud that’s of the translucidus variety, it often gives off a frosted glass appearance.

It can be easy to confuse the cloud varieties translucidus and perlucidus. Perlucidus clouds can be translucidus as well, but they’re often identified specifically by small gaps in the cloud, kind of like cracks in a sidewalk. Also note that perlucidus clouds are only found in altocumulus and stratocumulus cloud types, where translucidus clouds can be found in both of these types as well as altostratus and stratus clouds.

As a cloudspotter, the translucidus variety is one of the more popular varieties in altostratus and stratus clouds. Also note that more often than not, you’ll find the translucidus cloud variety in altocumulus and stratocumulus clouds when they’re of the stratiformis cloud species. Additionally, it’s not uncommon to see the translucidus variety alongside other varieties undulatus and perlucidus.

Stratus nebulosus translucidus (St neb tr)
Altostratus translucidus (As tr)
Altostratus translucidus (As tr)
A photograph of a stratus nebulosus translucidus cloud (St neb tr) on a steamy summer morning

Translucidus Cloud Types

The translucidus cloud variety is associated with the following four cloud types: altocumulus, altostratus, stratus, and stratocumulus.

A graphical illustration of a altocumulus translucidus cloud

Altocumulus (Ac)

Mid-altitude cloud heaps

A graphical illustration of an altostratus translucidus cloud

Altostratus (As)

Mid-altitude gray layer

A graphical illustration of a stratus translucidus cloud

Stratus (St)

Low, featureless layer

A graphical illustration of a stratocumulus translucidus cloud

Stratocumulus (Sc)

Low, puffy layer