a contrail cloud?

Discussions on the interactions between components of the environment and their effects on all types of organisms.

a contrail cloud?

Postby vivian maxine on June 16th, 2016, 3:20 pm 

Has anyone ever seen a straight cloud that was not a contrail? A long, straight cloud growing across the sky. It is too low to be a contrail, barely above the buildings. It is too thick; would make three or four contrails. It is growing but much too slowly to be any airplane. A plane moving that slowly would crash. Around it are a few cirrus clouds but there is this one long, long white cloud still growing. Not getting any thicker, just longer. And not fading away from its starting point. Or, if it is fading away, its starting point is invisible to where I am.

I can think of only one thing but do not know if it is possible. From the direction it is coming, we sometimes see balloons heading west. In this high humidity, can balloons cause such? It is low enough and slow enough to be from a balloon.
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Re: a contrail cloud?

Postby zetreque on June 16th, 2016, 3:30 pm 

Hi Vivian,

A picture is worth a ton of words if there is any way for you to take a picture that would be great. Clouds can come in strange forms. Every location usually has it's own common cloud based on the terrain because air currents are usually guided by the terrain, bodies of water, vegetation, and location on the planet (latitude). Despite the common ones to that location, you can end up with some pretty wild ones sometimes when air currents mix. It's all about creating a dew point. Temperature, pressure, and water content. Think in terms of those concepts to try to figure out how the cloud is formed.
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Re: a contrail cloud?

Postby vivian maxine on June 16th, 2016, 3:46 pm 

zetreque » June 16th, 2016, 2:30 pm wrote:Hi Vivian,

A picture is worth a ton of words if there is any way for you to take a picture that would be great. Clouds can come in strange forms. Every location usually has it's own common cloud based on the terrain because air currents are usually guided by the terrain, bodies of water, vegetation, and location on the planet (latitude). Despite the common ones to that location, you can end up with some pretty wild ones sometimes when air currents mix. It's all about creating a dew point. Temperature, pressure, and water content. Think in terms of those concepts to try to figure out how the cloud is formed.


I wish I did have a way to take a picture but I have not. I can only say it looks exactly like a plane's contrail but thicker, lower down and much slower. Perhaps it's just a matter of all those elements you mention coming up with an unusual formation. A neighbor and I were watching it. It was so slow that she got bored and left. My curiosity kept me there for a good while. Thank you.
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Re: a contrail cloud?

Postby zetreque on June 16th, 2016, 3:55 pm 

You said it was coming in the direction that hot air balloons go. That tells me that it is moving in the direction the wind currents usually move. It might just be a more rare time when a pocket of humid air slowly moves in the normal direction of the wind and comes into contact with a cooler mass of air. But you mentioned it was humid, so maybe it's not so much a difference in humidity as it would be in temperature.
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Re: a contrail cloud?

Postby vivian maxine on June 16th, 2016, 4:04 pm 

zetreque » June 16th, 2016, 2:55 pm wrote:You said it was coming in the direction that hot air balloons go. That tells me that it is moving in the direction the wind currents usually move. It might just be a more rare time when a pocket of humid air slowly moves in the normal direction of the wind and comes into contact with a cooler mass of air. But you mentioned it was humid, so maybe it's not so much a difference in humidity as it would be in temperature.


You may be right about the wind. We are due a front moving in tonight. We shall see.
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Re: a contrail cloud?

Postby zetreque on June 16th, 2016, 6:48 pm 

I was instructed by the librarian to throw out about 30 issues of Earth magazine. Of course it is hard for me to do that without at least peaking through them. I found this article "snake in the sky" by Vince Condella, Earth Aug 1997. The article, of course, talks about Earth's Jet stream.

I don't have time to read it because I now have about 30 articles to read. haha, but in the article it has this image which I was fortunately able to find online.

Image
Wind River. Jet stream winds drive a band of clouds over the Red Sea and Egypt. These strong air currents develop high in the atmosphere and follow a narrow path between warm and cold air masses, where drastic differences in temperature and air pressure occur.
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Re: a contrail cloud?

Postby vivian maxine on June 17th, 2016, 6:40 am 

Ah, thank you. It sounds like you are as hooked on reading as I am. While my cloud ("my cloud"?) was too low and we are, I think, too far south for a jet stream, the signs were there: "a narrow path between warm and cold air masses. We did have a cold air mass moving in with predictions of storms. The storms never materialized but we are ten degrees cooler today. Maybe the same process took place to form our low cloud stream. Whatever, the cooler air is a blessing after the past few days. And thank you for this. I believe it solves the mystery.

Have a good day.
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Re: a contrail cloud?

Postby SciameriKen on June 17th, 2016, 9:55 am 

Yesterday I saw a cloud shaped like an Alligator. End of story.
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Re: a contrail cloud?

Postby vivian maxine on June 17th, 2016, 10:09 am 

SciameriKen » June 17th, 2016, 8:55 am wrote:Yesterday I saw a cloud shaped like an Alligator. End of story.


Did it bite?
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