Contrails - Research, comments and links

Contrails and Aviation-induced Cirrus Clouds

(still to be edited and distributed over the pages)

Contrails an aviation-cirrus can be an early sign of a storm:

From SAIL Magazine's Sailing Tip of the Week:

Indicator: Skies
Continuing Good Weather:
Clear, light blue to dark blue. Bright moon. Jet contrail disappears immediately or doesn't form.
Possible Change:
Large halo circling moon or sun. Jet contrail lingers thickly before falling apart.

Several scientific studies are also being conducted with respect to contrail formation and their climatic effects. "Cirrus clouds affect Earth's climate by reflecting incoming sunlight and inhibiting heat loss from the surface. Ordinarily, cirrus clouds are only weakly influenced by most ground-based human activities, because of their high altitude. However, increasing levels
of high-altitude jet air traffic may alter the regional climatic effects of cirrus because aircraft condensation trails (contrails) often produce new cirrus, which could differ in their radiative properties."

Weather Diary Photo Gallery 2003
includes some extra views of local interest and some you may have missed

High cirrus also act as natural cloud seeder and strongly modulate the radiatively-important upper tropospheric water vapor budget. (The link to NASA's webpage on this subject is no longer valid).


Contrails are Bad News