how are stratus clouds formed

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How Are Stratus Clouds Formed?

How do stratus clouds form? Stratus clouds form in calm, stable conditions when gentle breezes raise cool, moist air over colder land or ocean surfaces. These clouds can exist in a variety of thicknesses and are sometimes opaque enough to darken days, allowing for little light to pass through.

How do you make a stratus cloud?

Formation. Stratus clouds form when a sheet of warm, moist air lifts off the ground and depressurizes, following the lapse rate. This causes the relative humidity to increase due to the adiabatic cooling.

How are cirrus stratus clouds formed?

The formation of stratus clouds occurs when a sheet of cool air passes under a sheet of moist, warm air. At the layer where these two sheets meet, the warm upper air is cooled to condensation and forms a stratus cloud. The cloud will extend as far as the overlap between the sheets of air.

What are the characteristics of a stratus cloud?

Stratus clouds are uniform and flat, producing a gray layer of cloud cover which may be precipitation-free or may cause periods of light precipitation or drizzle.

Where do stratus clouds form in the atmosphere?

Stratus clouds are the lowest type found in the troposphere; they are often found at ground level as fog or mist.

What is stratus clouds look like?

Stratus cloud often look like thin, white sheets covering the whole sky. Since they are so thin, they seldom produce much rain or snow. Sometimes, in the mountains or hills, these clouds appear to be fog. Cumulonimbus clouds grow on hot days when warm, wet air rises very high into the sky.

Whats the definition of stratus?

Definition of stratus

: a low cloud form extending over a large area at altitudes of usually 2000 to 7000 feet (600 to 2100 meters) — see cloud illustration.

What kind of weather is found with stratus clouds?

What weather is associated with stratus clouds? Stratus is usually accompanied by little to no rainfall but if it is thick enough, it can produce light drizzle. This drizzle can also fall in the form of light snow if cold enough.

Can cumulus clouds produce rain?

Normally, cumulus clouds produce little or no precipitation, but they can grow into the precipitation-bearing congests or cumulonimbus clouds. Cumulus clouds can be formed from water vapour, supercooled water droplets, or ice crystals, depending upon the ambient temperature.

How do you identify stratus clouds?

Stratus clouds are uniform grayish clouds that often cover the sky. Usually no precipitation falls from stratus clouds, but they may drizzle. When a thick fog “lifts,” the resulting clouds are low stratus.

What is an interesting fact about stratus clouds?

Stratus clouds are low altitude gray clouds that make a flat base. The name comes from the Latin word stratus, which means to “stretch” or “extend.” You can see stratus clouds as thick cloud blankets near the sea. They are sometimes called “high fogs”. Light rain and drizzle often fall from stratus clouds.

What are the 3 types of stratus clouds?

Stratus Cloud Varieties

Stratus clouds have three associated cloud varieties: opacus, translucidus, and undulatus.

Do stratus clouds form in a stable atmosphere?

Stable environments can certainly be favorable for stratus (layered) clouds to form.

Is fog a stratus cloud?

Stratus is used to describe flat, featureless clouds of low altitude, typically less than 300 metres. On the other hand, fog is a stratus cloud in contact with the ground.

Where are stratus clouds found in the sky?

Found at very low levels (less than 2000 meters, or 6500 feet), stratus clouds are thick, large, heavy-looking gray clouds that dominate the sky. Precipitation normally does not occur with this cloud, although drizzle or mist may be observed.

Why is it foggy when there are stratus clouds?

Clouds and fog occur because of moisture condensation, but at higher elevations, the water tends to freeze into ice crystals, making high-altitude clouds more reflective and impressive than the ones that form near the ground. … The air currents that form stratus clouds are usually light, and conditions are usually still.

What is the difference between cirrus and stratus clouds?

Stratus clouds look like flat sheets of clouds. These clouds can mean an overcast day or steady rain. They may stay in one place for several days. … Cirrus clouds are high feathery clouds.

What’s another word for Stratus?

Stratus Synonyms – WordHippo Thesaurus.

What is another word for stratus?
stratiformaltostratus
cirrostratusnimbostratus
stratocumulus

What is the definition of Stratus for kids?

Stratus clouds are flat clouds that form in low altitudes. Fog is a form of stratus cloud that is close to the Earth’s surface. Stratus clouds form when warm air with moisture lifts up into the Earth’s atmosphere. Often, these types of clouds signal gray, drizzly days with not much sunshine.

What does Nimbus mean in clouds?

Definition of nimbus

1a : a luminous vapor, cloud, or atmosphere about a god or goddess when on earth. b : a cloud or atmosphere (as of romance) about a person or thing. 2 : an indication (such as a circle) of radiant light or glory about the head of a drawn or sculptured divinity, saint, or sovereign. 3a : a rain …

Do stratus clouds produce thunderstorms?

Many different cloud types can be created in this way: altocumulus, altostratus, cirrocumulus, cirrostratus, cirrus, cumulonimbus (and associated mammatus clouds), nimbostratus, stratus, and stratocumulus. … They often grow into cumulonimbus clouds, which produce thunderstorms.

How fast do stratus clouds move?

When the wind is blowing up where they are, they can move at 30 to 40 miles per hour. Stratus clouds always mean either rain or snow. Sometimes the precipitation is a light mist or drizzle. “Stratus” means “layer,” and these clouds often look like a blanket covering the sky.

Why do clouds turn GREY before it rains?

It is the thickness, or height of clouds, that makes them look gray. … The tiny water droplets and ice crystals in clouds are just the right size to scatter all colors of light, compared with the smaller molecules of air that scatter blue light most effectively. When light contains all colors, we perceive it as white.

What are flat bottomed clouds called?

cumulus clouds
You are referring to cumulus clouds (and to cumulonimbus). Cumulus clouds are, indeed, flat-bottomed because they ride atop currents of rising warm air (warmer than the air surrounding them).

Why are clouds black before rain?

Clouds are visible accumulations of tiny water droplets or ice crystals in the Earth’s atmosphere. … When it’s about to rain, clouds darken because the water vapor is clumping together into raindrops, leaving larger spaces between drops of water. Less light is reflected. The rain cloud appears black or gray.

What is the rarest cloud?

Kelvin Helmholtz Waves are perhaps the rarest cloud formation of all. Rumored to be the inspiration for Van Gogh’s masterpiece “Starry Night”, they are incredibly distinctive. They are mainly associated with cirrus, altocumulus, and stratus clouds over 5,000m.

What are mid and high level stratus clouds called?

Cloud cross-classification throughout the homosphere
Form LevelStratiform non-convectiveStratocumuliform limited-convective
Mid-levelAltostratusAltocumulus
Towering vertical
Multi-level or moderate verticalNimbostratus
Low-levelStratusStratocumulus

How heavy is a stratus cloud?

Doing the math: 1,000,000,000 x 0.5 = 500,000,000 grams of water droplets in our cloud. That is about 500,000 kilograms or 1.1 million pounds (about 551 tons).

Is there a nimbus cloud?

Nimbus clouds are clouds that produce precipitation that reach the ground in the form of rain, snow or hail. There are two types of clouds, namely, cumulonimbus (cumulus clouds) and nimbostratus (stratus clouds).

What is the difference between cumulus and stratus clouds?

Two main classifications of clouds are cumulus and stratus. Cumulus clouds result from air rising due to positive buoyancy (i.e. metaphor: bubbles rising in a pot of water). Stratus clouds results from a forced lifting of air (low level convergence, upper level divergence). … Stratus on the ground is fog.

What Colour is a stratus cloud?

gray
Stratus clouds are low and have a uniform gray in color and can cover most or all of the sky. Stratus clouds can look like a fog that doesn’t reach the ground. Light mist or drizzle is sometimes falling when stratus clouds are in the sky.

How long is a stratus cloud?

6 to 12 h.
Storm and Cloud Dynamics

The lifetimes of stratus and stratocumulus clouds are longer, ranging from 6 to 12 h. As in fog, the time scale for a parcel to enter a stratus having a mean vertical velocity of 0.1 m s1 and rising through a depth of, say, 1000 m may be 3 h.

Do stratus clouds bear rain?

Stratus clouds are associated with foggy weather conditions. They are thick enough to accommodate only little light, thus producing a dark effect and little rainfall. Instead of rainfall, they produce light snow.

What altitude do stratus clouds form?

Stratus. Usually forms between the surface and 2,000ft, but cloud base can be up to 4,000ft. Thick stratus can produce considerable precipitation, particularly in hilly or coastal regions, though in some cases this precipitation may be falling from higher clouds such as nimbostratus.

Stratus Clouds

The Three Main Clouds – Cirrus, Stratus, Cumulus

Beautiful Science – The Science of Clouds

Cloud types: stratus, cumulus, cirrus, nimbus + strange formations

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