Stratus, Stratocumulus, and Remote Sensing

Xiquan Dong, Patrick Minnis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Stratus and stratocumulus clouds comprise a critical component of the atmospheric system and have long been the subject of research from many perspectives. Observations from the surface, air, and space have provided the data necessary to quantify their occurrence, properties, and interactions with radiation, dynamics, and other atmospheric components. Such data have served to develop and improve parameterizations for characterizing these clouds in climate and weather prediction models. This chapter provides an overview of this cloud type and its role in climate with a focus upon what we have learned from ground-based and satellite remote sensing. The processes that determine the variations in these low-level cloud properties and govern where and when they occur are discussed along with factors, such as aerosols, radiation, and humidity, that influence their characteristics. Retrieval methods used to infer the properties of these stratiform clouds from satellite-based and ground-based sensors are also reviewed. Remote sensing is a critical means to further our understanding of these clouds and the processes involving them, as well as, for monitoring and predicting their role in a changing climate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationFast Processes in Large-Scale Atmospheric Models
Subtitle of host publicationProgress, Challenges, and Opportunities
Number of pages59
ISBN (Electronic)9781119529019
ISBN (Print)9781119528999
StatePublished - Jan 1 2023


  • Aerosol-cloud Interactions
  • Diurnal Variations
  • Remote Sensing
  • Stratus and Stratpcumulus clouds
  • Their macrophysical and Microphysical Properties

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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