Multiple Contrail Streamers Observed by Radar

View More View Less
  • 1 Applied Physics Laboratory, The Johns Hopkins University, Silver Spring, Md. 20910
© Get Permissions Rent on DeepDyve
Restricted access

Abstract

An unusual case of multiple streamers or filaments with the characteristic mare's tail pattern in vertical section has been observed by radar where the generating elements were condensation trails laid by high-altitude aircraft. The contrails were laid perpendicular to the wind and as they drifted a multitude of streamers formed along each trail. The streamers extended from 9 km to the ground. Numerous contrails were observed, each of which produced a sheet of streamers. RHI and PPI photographs at X and S band taken over a 2-hr period show the three-dimensional shape of the streamers due to the wind shear. Doppler measurements were also taken. The resulting velocity spectra are very narrow indicating little or no turbulence. Reflectivity factors were measured at various altitudes and show a decrease in reflectivity with distance from the generating line. Fall velocities based on the slopes of the streamer patterns varied from 0.4 to 1.4 m sec−1. In general, the characteristics of the precipitation streamers were quite similar to those previously measured in naturally occurring cloud forms such as cirrus uncinus.

Abstract

An unusual case of multiple streamers or filaments with the characteristic mare's tail pattern in vertical section has been observed by radar where the generating elements were condensation trails laid by high-altitude aircraft. The contrails were laid perpendicular to the wind and as they drifted a multitude of streamers formed along each trail. The streamers extended from 9 km to the ground. Numerous contrails were observed, each of which produced a sheet of streamers. RHI and PPI photographs at X and S band taken over a 2-hr period show the three-dimensional shape of the streamers due to the wind shear. Doppler measurements were also taken. The resulting velocity spectra are very narrow indicating little or no turbulence. Reflectivity factors were measured at various altitudes and show a decrease in reflectivity with distance from the generating line. Fall velocities based on the slopes of the streamer patterns varied from 0.4 to 1.4 m sec−1. In general, the characteristics of the precipitation streamers were quite similar to those previously measured in naturally occurring cloud forms such as cirrus uncinus.

Save