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Stratus Clouds - Windows to the Universe

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This photograph of stratus clouds was taken in San Giamano, Tuscany, Italy.
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Courtesy of Sara Martin

Stratus

Stratus clouds are part of the Low Cloud group. They are gray and can cover most or all of the sky (like a big blanket). Stratus clouds sometimes produce light mist or drizzle.


Last modified October 2, 2008 by Becca Hatheway.

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Low Clouds

The low cloud group includes Stratus, Stratocumulus, and Nimbostratus clouds. Low clouds are made up of water droplets. The base of a low cloud is from the ground to 2000m....more

Altocumulus

Altocumulus clouds are part of the Middle Cloud group. They are grayish-white with one part of the cloud darker than the other. Altocumulus clouds usually form in groups. Altocumulus clouds are about...more

Rain

Raindrops form when tiny water droplets collide together in clouds to form bigger ones. When they get too heavy, rain falls out of the clouds. Rain is more than 5mm in diameter. The types of clouds that...more

Cloud Formation and Weather Fronts

Weather fronts can cause clouds to form. Fronts happen when two large masses of air collide into each other at the Earth's surface. Warm fronts produce clouds when warm air replaces cold air by sliding...more

Drizzle

Drizzle is very light rain; the water drops that make up drizzle are smaller than rain drops. Drizzle can be so light that only a millimeter of water falls to the Earth's surface in one day. It is produced...more

Southeast Pacific Climate

There are a lot of clouds over the Southeast Pacific Ocean off the coasts of Peru and Chile in South America. In fact, this area has the largest amount of stratus and stratocumulus clouds in the world!...more

Altostratus

Altostratus clouds belong to the Middle Cloud group. An altostratus cloud usually covers the whole sky. The cloud looks gray or blue-gray. The sun or moon may shine through an altostratus cloud, but will...more

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