from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- adj. Forming a layer or arranged in layers.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- adj. Occurring in layers
- adj. Descriptive of clouds with extensive horizontal development
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- adj. Having the form of strata.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Forming or formed into a layer or lamella; embedded as a stratum or layer; stratified: specifically used in the anatomy of a form of cartilage.
A stratiform cloud deck tends to persist between 2,800 m and 3,800 m.
Another relevant analogue is the seasonal progression from frequently clear skies over the marine cryosphere in winter to dominance by fog and stratiform cloud in summer.
Besides spreading the ocean surface with its own CO2 and residual oil, sea-going vessels create something called "Ship Tracks" that tail off, like vapor trails, in the atmosphere and have the potential for changing the microstructure of marine stratiform clouds.
The problem, however, is that stratiform clouds are unusually delicate formations, vulnerable to the power of man, and by definition so weak that their precipitation potential is feeble.
Out in the real world, the agents visibly erode simple stratiform clouds and their ground-hugging variant, fog.
The exceptions are saturated stratiform clouds in narrowly bounded mountainous regions, where upsloping terrain may trigger significant precipitation, and where statistical evidence is growing that winter seeding does enhance the snowfall.
That coolness increases the marine stratiform cloudiness and that large-scale increase in low cloud cover tends to cool the earth a bit.
A couple of days ago I saw, in the Southern Indian Ocean, marine stratiform clouds behind what appears to be a cold front within 10 degrees of the equator.
And, critically important in the eastern Pacific, warmer SST tneds to weaken the important stratiform low-cloud cover, which reflects away sunlight nad likely has a net cooling effect on the surface.
While reading about clouds this weekend I came across an estimate of global marine stratiform cloud MSC coverage.
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