A stratocumulus cloud, occasionally called a cumulostratus, belongs to a genus-type of clouds characterized by large dark, rounded masses, usually in groups, lines, or waves, the individual elements being larger than those in altocumulus, and the whole being at a lower height, usually below 2000 m. Weak convective currents create shallow cloud layers because of drier, stable air above preventing continued vertical development.- Stratocumulus cloud
The main representative cloud types for each of these forms are stratiform, cumuliform, stratocumuliform, cumulonimbiform, and cirriform.- Cloud
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Cumulus clouds are clouds which have flat bases and are often described as "puffy", "cotton-like" or "fluffy" in appearance.
There are also cumuliform clouds of limited convection that comprise stratocumulus (low-étage), altocumulus (middle-étage) and cirrocumulus (high-étage).
Altocumulus (From Latin Altus, "high", cumulus, "heaped") is a middle-altitude cloud genus that belongs mainly to the stratocumuliform physical category characterized by globular masses or rolls in layers or patches, the individual elements being larger and darker than those of cirrocumulus and smaller than those of stratocumulus.
Stratus clouds are low-level clouds characterized by horizontal layering with a uniform base, as opposed to convective or cumuliform clouds that are formed by rising thermals.
Stratus stratocumulomutatus clouds occur when stratocumulus opacus patches fuse to create a stratiform layer.
Altostratus is a middle-altitude cloud genus made up of water droplets, ice crystals, or a mixture of the two.
Globally, clouds reflect around 50 watts per square meter of short-wave solar radiation back into space, cooling the Earth by around 12 C-change, an effect largely caused by stratocumulus clouds.