1381. The stratus has a mean degree of density, and is the lowest of clouds, its inferior surface commonly resting on the earth or water. This is properly the cloud of night, appearing about sunset. It comprehends all those creeping mists which, in calm weather, ascend in spreading sheets (like an inundation of water) from the bottoms of valleys and the surfaces of lakes and rivers. On the return of the sun, the level surface of this cloud begins to put on the appearance of cumulus, the whole at the same time separating from the ground. The continuity is next destroyed, and the cloud ascends and evaporates, or passes off with the appearance of the nascent cumulus. This has long been experienced as a prognostic of fair weather.