Jet Contrails and Cirrus Cloud: A Feasibility Study Employing High-Resolution Satellite Imagery

Andrew M. Carleton, Peter J. Lamb
1986 Bulletin of The American Meteorological Society - (BAMS)  
The results of a pilot study to assess the feasibility of documenting the occurrence of jet contrails over the United States from high-resolution Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) imagery are presented. They are strongly positive, suggesting that 1) contrails can be distinguished from natural cirrus on the imagery; 2) contrails are consistently identifiable; 3) contrails often occur in association with the natural cirrus and frequently spread; and 4) this spreading could extend
more » ... accompanying natural cirrus shield. The analyses also indicate that contrails tend to occur relatively frequently, that they more often cluster in groups than appear singly, and that they seem to show a preference for developing in (near) upper-tropospheric cold troughs (ridgelines). It is accordingly suggested that DMSP imagery can provide a basis for research into a contrailcirrus-climate relationship.
doi:10.1175/1520-0477(1986)067<0301:jcacca>;2 fatcat:a2tlxdqn5fbrvnr6upl53s5geq