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21 January 2015

Contrails and Distrails

Florida meteorologist Chris Smith received the picture above from viewer Joseph Mandeville today wanting to know what caused this. It’s a DISTRAIL. The cloud was made up of liquid cloud droplets that were well below freezing (supercooled water is common in the atmosphere), and when an aircraft flies through it the tiny soot particles can act as condensation nuclei and cause the liquid water to freeze. The ice crystals fall …


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