WW2010
University of Illinois

WW2010
 
  welcome
 
> online guides
 
  archives
 
  educational cd-rom
 
  current weather
 
  about ww2010
 
  index

Online Guides
 
  introduction
 
> meteorology
 
  remote sensing
 
  reading maps
 
  projects, activities

Meteorology
 
  introduction
 
  air masses, fronts
 
> clouds, precipitation
 
  el nino
 
  forces, winds
 
  hurricanes
 
  hydrologic cycle
 
  light, optics
 
  midlatitude cyclones
 
  severe storms
 
  weather forecasting

Clouds, Precipitation
 
  introduction
 
  development
 
> cloud types
 
  precipitation

Cloud Types
 
  introduction
 
  high-level clouds
 
  mid-level clouds
 
  low-level clouds
 
  vertically developed
 
> other cloud types

Other Cloud Types
 
> contrails
 
  billow clouds
 
  mammatus
 
  orographic
 
  pileus

User Interface
 
  graphics
> text

NOTE: We've guessed that you're not using a client that supports colored tables and have tried to compensate. Low graphics mode looks much better on clients that do... we recommend switching to Netscape 3.0 or Microsoft Internet Explorer.
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Contrails
condensation trails

A contrail, also known as a condensation trail, is a cirrus-like trail of condensed water vapor often resembling the tail of a kite. Contrails are produced at high altitudes where extremely cold temperatures freeze water droplets in a matter of seconds before they can evaporate.

[Image: photo of contrail in tact (78K)]
Photograph by: Knupp

Contrails form through the injection of water vapor into the atmosphere by exhaust fumes from a jet engine. If the surrounding air is cold enough, a state of saturation is attained and ice crystals develop, producing a contrail.

[Image: contrail spead apart by upper level winds (70K)]
Photograph by: Holle
If the air in which the contrail develops has a low relative humidity, the cloud particles will quickly evaporate. Even in the presence of higher relative humidities, upper-level winds can spread a contrail apart to produce a horizontal sheet-like cloud. For a contrail to remain in tact for a long period of time, the air must have a high relative humidity in the presence of relatively light winds.



Vertically Developed
Terms for using data resources. CD-ROM available.
Credits and Acknowledgments for WW2010.
Department of Atmospheric Sciences (DAS) at
the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

billow clouds