You are browsing the archive for 21 January 2015 - Dan's Wild Wild Science Journal.
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 …