Jennifer has taught elementary levels K-3 and has master's degrees in elementary education and curriculum/instruction and educational leadership.
What Are Stratus Clouds?
Have you ever been walking around on a very foggy day? If so, you've actually walked inside of a stratus cloud! The word stratus comes from the Latin word strato. Strato means layer, so this is a clue for what kind of cloud a stratus cloud is. A stratus cloud is flat and stretches out quite a distance. These clouds are found at low altitudes, meaning they are closer to the Earth than other types of clouds. Stratus clouds can be nearly white in color, or darker gray.
How Are They Formed?
We know that clouds are full of moisture, but exactly how does a stratus cloud form? It occurs when warm air from the Earth is lifted higher into the air. The warm air has moisture in it, and as it lifts it forms these flat, hazy clouds. Stratus clouds do not always remain stratus clouds. They can turn into different types of clouds depending on changes in temperature or movement in the atmosphere. Stratus clouds often form like a blanket of clouds, since they stretch out very far and are flat. It is possible for these flat, cloud blankets to change and become puffy cumulus clouds if conditions are right.
Weather Associated With Stratus Clouds
If you like gray, drizzly days then you are probably a fan of stratus clouds! Most people prefer the puffy white cumulus clouds that appear on sunny days. But it's not bad to stay inside every now and then and enjoy a drizzly, rainy day. Stratus clouds often mean rain, drizzle, and fog. Sometimes they can produce snow, depending on the temperature. However, it is possible to see stratus clouds on sunny days as well. It all depends on the amount of moisture in the air and temperatures. Seeing sun among stratus clouds can also depend on the altitude of the land.
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. Snow can also occur from stratus clouds.
To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account
Register to view this lesson
Unlock Your Education
See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com
Become a Study.com member and start learning now.Become a Member
Already a member? Log InBack
Resources created by teachers for teachers
I would definitely recommend Study.com to my colleagues. It’s like a teacher waved a magic wand and did the work for me. I feel like it’s a lifeline.