Contrail lobes

This forum is for discussing and posting observations of short term weather events that have taken place within the last few days. It could include details of thunderstorms, snow, rainfall, hail, temperatures, etc. Please create a thread for the day, or add your comment to the existing thread if it is related to previous comments there.
Post Reply
Greg Gruner
Posts: 42
Joined: Sun Dec 13, 2015 7:36 pm
Location: Farnborough

Contrail lobes

Post by Greg Gruner » Fri Sep 30, 2016 8:19 pm

There was an interesting article on contrail lobes in the August edition of "Weather".
Interestingly, I came across a pronounced example of contrail lobes yesterday, while walking the dog at 1832 BST, and managed to take a photo, which I will attempt to attached.
The photograph was taken looking in a SW direction, and the contrail was oriented NW-SE. There must have been a strong SW-NE jet stream, because when I took the photo the contrail was less than 45deg elevation; within around 2-3 minutes it was directly overhead (carried "sideways" by the strong wind). A quick calculation would indicate that if the height was around 25,000 feet, the wind speed would have been >100mph.
Contrail lobes
Contrail lobes
contrail.JPG (33.77 KiB) Viewed 4899 times

User avatar
Martin Rowley
Posts: 34
Joined: Sat Dec 12, 2015 8:32 pm
Location: West Moors, East Dorset

Re: Contrail lobes

Post by Martin Rowley » Sat Oct 01, 2016 2:00 pm

... thanks for posting that image: every time I see these 'lobes' I'm captivated by the apparent complexity of exactly how they form. The article you mention gives a creditable mechanism - but I wonder how many looking upwards on a fine day realise just how 'dynamic' is the atmosphere around these features.

Martin Rowley
West Moors, East Dorset
Lat: 50deg 49.25'N, Long: 01deg 53.05'W
Height (amsl): 17 m (56 feet)
COL category: C1 overall/TRSHEUN=CC-A03-

Post Reply