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Weather Reference - Clouds - Man Made
Location: London (Default) Lat: 51.5N Sunrise: 06:03BST
  Lon: 0E Sunset: 19:59BST

Man Made Clouds | Contrails | Disclaimer

Man Made Clouds

These formations do not occur naturally and are artificually produced.


Contrail CloudThese formations do not occur naturally as it is artificially produced by high level aircraft operations.

All aircraft engines emit water droplets form their exhausts so when a plane flies through the upper levels of the troposphere, where the temperature is normally well below freezing these droplets immediate freeze to form ice crystals, creating an artificial cloud.

The surrounding air mass will contain little moisture, and the resulting cloud will be thin, short lived and invisible to someone on the ground. However if the surrounding air mass is close to saturation, the cloud produced will be broader and longer and may last for 30 minutes. It is this visible formation that is known as a contrail.

If a long lasting contrail is seen this can indicate the presence of high level moisture which could indicate the approach of a frontal system.


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