Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A low, gray, often dark cloud that precipitates rain, snow, or sleet.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A low-level, principal cloud type, generally formless and dark grey in colour, occurring in layers at low altitude (usually below 2400 metres) and usually bringing precipitation; abbreviated Ns.

Etymologies

nimb(us) + stratus.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • Above 6,500 feet can be found altocumulus ("clumps or rolls") and altostratus (a "drab and featureless" haze), as well as the storm clouds nimbostratus ("dim, miserable") and cumulonimbus ("the shape of a blacksmith's anvil").

    Cirrus Concerns

  • The low-lying stratus, stratocumulus, cumulus, nimbostratus, and cumulonimbus are where all the action is.

    MY EMPIRE OF DIRT

  • Built on a rise to command views of the valley at its foot, it looked dour and inhospitable and threatening even on sunny days, and could chill the soul under nimbostratus.

    They didn’t read Pitchfork or Stereogum or Gorilla vs. Bear or Hipster Runoff

  • Not in gray and grumpy nimbostratus, nor fine feathered cirrus, but in a fair weather cumulus blanket and the sun beams like knitting needles that pierced it, the ends of which, I was sure, illuminated some somber earthly occasion - corporeal cessation.

    On A Trans-Atlantic Flight

  • Between the nimbostratus clouds and the surface location of the warm front, low-altitude stratus clouds are found.

    Air masses and frontal transitional zones

  • About 600 kilometers ahead of the front, nimbostratus clouds occur.

    Air masses and frontal transitional zones

  • Weather Phenomenon Prior to the Passing of the Front Contact with the Front After the Passing of the Front Temperature Cool Warming suddenly Warmer then leveling off Atmospheric Pressure Decreasing steadily Leveling off Slight rise followed by a decrease Winds South to southeast Variable South to southwest Precipitation Showers, snow, sleet or drizzle Light drizzle None Clouds Cirrus, cirrostratus, altostratus, nimbostratus, and then stratus Stratus, sometimes cumulonimbus Clearing with scattered stratus, sometimes scattered cumulonimbus

    Air masses and frontal transitional zones

  • Along the gently sloping warm front, the lifting of moist air produces first nimbostratus clouds followed by altostratus and cirrostratus.

    Mid-latitude cyclone

  • As the clouds grow thicker and darker nimbostratus and cumulonimbus, the rain comes, and along with it come stronger wind and changes in the wind direction.

    Sailing Fundamentals

  • With the thicker altostratus and nimbostratus clouds comes the rain, which is then followed by clear and warmer weather.

    Sailing Fundamentals

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