Excerpts from Jim Conrad's
Naturalist Newsletter

STRATUS FRACTUS clouds

from the February 12, 2012 Newsletter issued from Hacienda Chichen Resort beside Chichén Itzá Ruins, central Yucatán, MÉXICO
STRATUS FRACTUS CLOUDS

What began as a fog and then lifted, first becoming uniform-textured Stratus nebulosus clouds, then lumpy Stratus opacus, by mid morning had thinned so that the sun showed through as a silvery orb, so by then the layer had become Stratus translucidus. Finally late in the morning the Stratus translucidus started breaking up, showing ever more blue sky between cloud patches. So close to the ground the cloud patches seemed to move faster than the morning's calmness would allow.

Of the stratus clouds recognized by the World Meteorological Organization, this is the one described as being ragged shreds of stratus clouds. It's STRATUS FRACTUS. You can see some above a forest clearing above.

Often when it rains, those low, raggedy-edged clouds that scud well beneath the rain clouds are Stratus fractus, too.