Stratocumulus Sheets

60 Minutes

Vesa Nietosvaara
Aulikki Lehkonen
Ab Maas
Frans Debie
Jos Diepeveen

Stratocumulus Sheets

Published: 01 January 2005

Sc clouds are a common cloud type both in northern latitudes as well as mid-latitudes. They are most often observed over cool waters throughout the year but also over land areas, especially in winter. The formation of stratocumulus depends on variable scales of physical factors: Synoptic scale flow and the properties advected by the air streams, e.g. moisture content, have an effect on formation of the cloud layer. On the other hand the development of Sc Sheets is controlled by small-scale factors in the atmosphere, such as turbulent mixing in cloud. Sc Sheet formation is often observed after a cold front passage as well as on the rear side of the low pressure. Cool air flow with reasonable wind shear, stable stratification and a large amount of moisture (not necessarily because of advection of moisture from the sea, but by evaporation of rain and from wet ground) form a suitable condition for Sc formation.

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Filed under Keywords:

Conceptual Models, Synoptic Scale Meteorology, SC Sheets