It's apparent to the eye that the cumulus are lower than the cirrostratus clouds, but the thermal imager indicates just how much lower.
The ground has a temperature of 53 dry, the cumulus 38 deg, and the cirrostratus a temperature of 8 deg.
Assuming a dry adiabatic lapse rate of 5.4 degrees per 1,000 feet, the cumulus is at 2,800 feet AGL and the stratus is at 8,300 feet. The distance between the two cloud layers is 5,500 feet, or just over one mile.
|The visible light image of a cumulus cloud|
|The thermal infrared image of the same cliud|
|The overcast sun appeared as a bright blob in the sky. The thermal infrared viewer indicated it had a temperature of 172 degrees, the hottest temperature I've ever seen in the air.|