Clouds 101: Nimbostratus (Ns)

Genera: Nimbostratus – Grey cloud layer, often dark, the appearance of which is rendered diffuse by more or less continuously falling rain or snow, which in most cases reaches the ground. It is thick enough throughout to blot out the sun. Low, ragged clouds frequently occur below the layer, with which they may or may not merge. Nimbostratus is composed of water droplets (sometimes supercooled) and raindrops, or snow crystals and snowflakes, or of a mixture of these liquid and solid particles. Nimbostratus usually appears as an extensive, low, dark grey layer, with a very diffuse base from which rain, snow or ice pellets fall continuously, without necessarily reaching the ground. In the tropics, particularly during short lulls in the rainfall, Nimbostratus can be seen breaking up into several different cloud layers which rapidly merge again. Nimbostratus is most often formed as a result of the slow ascent of extensive layers of air to sufficiently high levels. Nimbostratus may also develop from thickening Altostratus; it may, furthermore, though rarely, result from the thickening of a layer of Stratocumulus or Altocumulus. Nimbostratus also sometimes forms by the spreading out of Cumulonimbus or, very rarely, when clouds produce rain, by the spreading out of large Cumulus.

Rod: Nimbostratus – sivi oblacni sloj, cesto taman, ima difuzan, razliven izgled radi manje-vise konstantnog padanja kise ili snijega, koji vecinom dolaze do zemlje. Dovoljno je gust svom povrsinom da sakrije sunce. Niski, iscjepkani oblaci se cesto pojave ispod ovog oblacnog sloja, sa kojim se mogu a i ne moraju spojiti. Nimbostratus je sacinjen od vodenih kapljica (ponekada prehladjenih/ prehlađena voda je ona voda koja ostaje u tecnom stanju na temperaturama ispod tacke zaledjivanja) i kapljica kise, ili snjeznih kristala i snijeznih pahulja, ili od mjesavine ovih tecnih i cvrstih cestica. Nimbostratus se cesto pojavljuje kao prosiren, nizak, taman sivi sloj sa veoma razlivenom bazom iz koje kisa, snijeg ili sugradica konstantno padaju, a da ne moraju neophodno dotaci tlo. U tropima, narocito tokom kratkotrajnih pauza kod padavina, Nimbostraus je vidjen kako se razbija u vise razlicitih oblacnih slojeva koji se ponovo spajaju velikom brzinom. Nimbostratus se najcesce formira kao rezultat sporih uzdizanja prostranih zracnih slojeva do dovoljno visokih nivoa. Nimbostratus se takodjer moze razviti od zadebljalog Altostratusa; nadalje se moze, iako rijetko, stvoriti od zadebljalog sloja Stratocumulusa ili Altocumulusa. Isto tako, Nimbostratus se moze formirati sirenjem Cumulonimbusa ili, iznimno rijetko, kada oblak daje kisu, putem sirenja iz ogromnog Cumulusa.

Species: No species are distinguished in Nimbostratus.


Vrsta: Kod Nimbostratusa se ne razlikuju nikakve vrste.

Varieties: Nimbostratus has no varieties.

Podvrste: Nimbostratus nema podvrste.

Supplementary features and accesory clouds: 

Nimbostratus praecipitatio (Ns pra) – Nimbostratus with precipitation, which reaches the ground.

Praecipitatio – From the Latin praecipitatio, which means a fall (down a precipice).

Nimbostratus praecipitatio (Ns pra) – Nimbostratus koji daje padavine koje dolaze do tla.


Praecipitatio- od latinskog praecipitatio, sto znaci pad.

Nimbostratus virga (Ns vir) – Nimbostratus with drop strips at the bottom side of the cloud.

Virga – From the Latin virga, which means rod, stick, branch.

Nimbostratus virga (Ns vir) – Nimbostratus sa trakama padavina pri podnozju, bocne strane oblaka.


Virga – od latinskog virga, sto znaci prut, stap, grancica.

Nimbostratus pannus (Ns pan) – The under surface of Nimbostratus is often partially or totally hidden by low ragged clouds (pannus) which form at or below the base of the Nimbostratus and change shape rapidly. At first, these pannus clouds consist of separate units; later on they may merge into a continuous layer. When the pannus covers a large expanse of the sky, make sure not to confuse it with the under surface of Nimbostratus.

Pannus – From the Latin pannus, which means piece of cloth, piece, shred, rag, tatter.

Nimbostratus pannus (Ns pan) – podnozje Nimbostratusa je cesto djelimice ili u potpunosti sakriveno od strane iscjepkanih oblaka (pannusa) koji se formiraju tacno pri ili ispod baze Nimbostratusa i mijenjaju oblik velikom brzinom. Na pocetku, ovi pannus oblaci se sastoje od odvojenih jedinica; kasnije se mogu spojiti u neprekidan oblacni sloj. Kada pannus pokriva veliki dio neba, treba obratiti paznju da ga ne pomijesate sa podnicom Nimbostratusa.


Pannus – od latinskog pannus, sto znaci komad tkanine, dio, krpa, dronjak.

Nimbostratus praecipitatio (Ns pra)

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Nimbostratus virga (Ns vir)

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Nimbostratus pannus (Ns pan)

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Definition of a cloud: 

A cloud is a visible aggregate of minute particles of water or ice, or of both, in the free air. This aggregate may include larger particles of water or ice and particles, such as those present in fumes, smoke or dust.

Definicija oblaka: Oblak je vidljivo agregatno stanje zasicenih cestica vode, leda ili vode i leda, koje se nalaze slobodne u zraku. Mogu biti u pitanju i krupnije cestice vode i leda i cestice poput onih koje su prisutne u dimu, isparenjima ili prasini. 

Appearance of clouds:

The appearance of a cloud is determined by the nature, sizes, number and distribution in space of its constituent particles. Appearance is best described in terms of dimensions, shape, structure, texture, luminance and colour of the cloud.

Pojava oblaka tj. njihov izgled je odredjen karakterom, velicinama, kolicinom i raspodjelom cestica koje ga sacinjavaju kroz prostor. Izgled oblaka je najbolje opisan u kroz dimenzije, oblik, strukturu, teksturu, osvjetljenost i boju oblaka. 

Classification of clouds:

A classification of the charcteristic forms of clouds, in terms of “genera”, “species” and “varieties” has been established by the WMO(World Meteorological Organisation).

Klasifikacija karakteristicnih oblika oblaka u smislu “rodova”, “vrsta” i “podvrsta” je ostvarena od strane WMO (World Meteorological Organisation) tj. Svjetske Meteoroloske Organizacije.

(I) Genera 

The classification is essentially based on 10 main groups, called genera, which are mutually exclusive, that is to say, a given cloud can belong to one genus only. The genera are;

Podjela na rodove je ustvari podjela na 10 osnovnih grupa zvanih rodovi koji su medjusobno posebni, sto znaci da odredjeni oblak moze da pripada samo jednom rodu. Podjela na rodove je slijedeca: 

Cirrus – Ci 

Cirrocumulus – Cc 

Cirrostratus – Cs 

Altocumulus -Ac 

Altostratus -As 

Nimbostratus -Ns 

Stratocumulus – Sc 

Stratus – St 

Cumulus – Cu 

Cumulonimbus – Cb 

(II) Species

Obseved peculiarities in the shape of clouds and differences in their internal structure have led to the subdivision of most of the cloud genera into species.

Osmotrene pojedinosti u obliku oblaka i njihovih razlika u unutarnjoj strukturi su doveli do podjele vecine rodova oblaka na vrste.

(III) Varieties

Clouds may exhibit special characteristics which determine their variety. These characteristics are related to the different arrangements of the could elements.

Oblaci mogu iskazati posebne karakteristike koje ce da odrede njihove podvrste. Te karakteristike su u vezi sa razlicitim rasporedom elementa oblaka.

(IV) Supplementary cloud features 

Dopunske odlike i oblaci pratioci:

1. incus – inc

2. mamma – mam

3. virga – vir

4. praecipitatio – pra

5. arcus – arc

6. tuba – tub

7. pileus – pil

8. velum – vel

9. pannus – pan

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