Polar Stratospheric Clouds


Polar Stratospheric Clouds.

Stratospheric clouds, or sometimes Nacreous clouds, or mother-of-pearl clouds. Earth’s stratosphere is normally cloud-free, but these clouds do sometimes appear some 9 -16 miles (15 – 25 km) high in Earth’s atmosphere. They’re said to have more rainbow-like colors than the iridescent clouds seen around the world fairly commonly, at lower latitudes.
Nacreous clouds, sometimes called mother-of-pearl clouds, are rare but once seen are never forgotten. They are mostly visible within two hours after sunset or before dawn when they blaze unbelievably bright with vivid and slowly shifting iridescent colours. They are filmy sheets slowly curling and uncurling, stretching and contracting in the semi-dark sky. Compared with dark scudding low altitude clouds that might be present, nacreous clouds stand majestically in almost the same place – an indicator of their great height.

They are seen mostly during winter at high latitudes like Scandinavia, Iceland, Alaska and Northern Canada. Sometimes, however, they occur as far south as Cornwall.
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