What are stratus clouds and what do they suggest about atmospheric conditions?

1 Answer
Jul 16, 2015


Thin uniformed layer cloud close to the surface of the Earth


Stratus cloud is basically fog that is not at the surface of the Earth. In theory it can be based at up to 1500ft but as a weather observer over the last 18 years I have never seen it based higher than 1000ft.

The only precipitation that falls from Stratus cloud is drizzle, freezing drizzle or snow grains (frozen drizzle).

If you have Stratus cloud present you have very stable air (warm air above cold, called an inversion), which is what keeps the layer thin (never more than maybe 2000ft thick).