Spectacular cloud holes yesterday

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 5:01 PM GMT on January 30, 2007

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An unusually large series of cloud holes developed over Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, and Alabama yesterday, which were captured by several alert wunderphotographers (see the thumbnail images at the bottom). These cloud holes (also called "dissipation trails" or "distrails") are formed when an aircraft passes through a deck of clouds containing water drops that have cooled below the freezing point of water. The exhaust particles of the aircraft's engines serve as nuclei for the supercooled water drops to freeze on, and the resulting ice crystals fall towards the ground as "fall streaks". Also, engine heat and turbulence along the wing tips mixes moist and dry air, helping create clear holes. It typically takes about 20 minutes for a cloud hole to form after an airplane has passed, so it is not obvious that a aircraft create the holes.


Visible image of the clouds holes of January 29, 2007, as seen by NASA's Terra satellite.

For more detailed information on this event, including animations and upper-air plots, see the University of Wisconsin CIMSS Satellite blog.

I'll have a preview on Wednesday of the upcoming blockbuster climate report scheduled to be released Friday by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Jeff Masters

Alabama Sky (southgirl)
Very cold here in Alabama. Temp this am was 20 degrees. Brrrr
Alabama Sky
Negative Contrail 1 (WeatheringHeights)
Even though I was sick as a dog (and home from work), I went out in the freezing cold this morning and took pictures, when I saw this cloud out the window. I just couldn't miss this one. ;) The second photo is looking west, this one was looking east. I sent it to the Chief Meteorologist at KXAS-TV - NBC5 in Dallas-Fort Worth. Here's what he said.... "It's a kind of 'negative' contrail. Apparently the jet exhaust caused the cirrus cloud layer to condense and fall out as snow, leaving a gap in the clouds. I don't think I've ever seen one like it.
Negative Contrail 1
Cloud1 (eds0736)
Strange
Cloud1

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144. weatherboykris
10:20 PM GMT on January 30, 2007
are they better now?I set width at 700.
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
143. weatherboykris
10:19 PM GMT on January 30, 2007
It hasn't formed yet.I meant to say that La Nina is coming,not that it is here.Sorry
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
142. Tazmanian
10:18 PM GMT on January 30, 2007
not on my lap top they dont
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115509
141. Tazmanian
10:18 PM GMT on January 30, 2007
weatherboykris how stong is La Nina you think
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115509
140. weatherboykris
10:17 PM GMT on January 30, 2007
too big?They look fine on my computer.
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
139. Tazmanian
10:17 PM GMT on January 30, 2007
: weatherboykris maps tooo big make then smaller
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115509
138. SouthernLady
10:16 PM GMT on January 30, 2007
Or.... buy a Mac , Taz...LOL
Member Since: August 27, 2005 Posts: 115 Comments: 29926
137. weatherboykris
10:16 PM GMT on January 30, 2007
I'm feeling blue!
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
136. weatherboykris
10:15 PM GMT on January 30, 2007
compare with 4 days ago:
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
135. weatherboykris
10:15 PM GMT on January 30, 2007
hey Ryang.
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
134. weatherboykris
10:14 PM GMT on January 30, 2007
La Nina conditions have begun!We may just skip neutral and go right to cold!Today's anomaly map:
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
133. ryang
10:14 PM GMT on January 30, 2007
I am fine.How's your weather.
Member Since: August 25, 2006 Posts: 329 Comments: 12454
125. weatherboykris
10:03 PM GMT on January 30, 2007
Well what I meant was that storms that form in the October MDR(the western Carribean)almost exclusively go to South Florida.They aren't like Cape Verde stomrs that could go to the Carolinas,storms in the Carribean in October almost without failure go to South Florida.
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
124. ProgressivePulse
9:58 PM GMT on January 30, 2007
Posted By: weatherboykris at 9:18 PM GMT on January 30, 2007.

I'm thinking La Nina
will have an effect all hurricane season,with an especially above average October,which could be bad news for FLorida since the storms coming from the October MDR typically go towards South Florida.


That would be August, September and October according to your link Weatherboy! NO THANKS! Looking forward to another quiet season. Taxes and insurance rates are on the rebound here. It would be nice to keep that trend going but, of course, there is always red tape in the event of another Hurricane!
Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 5458
121. Patrap
9:51 PM GMT on January 30, 2007
...."Over a number of years, there has been confusion regarding FEMA's policies for providing assistance for snow removal. In particular, during the `blizzard of 1996' there was confusion and controversy surrounding FEMA's snow removal policies and eligibilities for Federal assistance. Representatives and other officials in New York, Pennsylvania, the District of Columbia, and other jurisdictions complained about FEMA's approach to snow removal assistance. Criticisms ranged from a lack of clarity, consistency, and uniformity to both overly restrictive and overly generous criteria for Federal assistance"...
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 429 Comments: 130488
120. Patrap
9:50 PM GMT on January 30, 2007
SOme FEMA info and insight to problems in SNOW events...Link
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 429 Comments: 130488
119. Patrap
9:47 PM GMT on January 30, 2007
They use what they call an "Event Criteria"..if its met ,they spend .If it dont..they dont spend.Its a discombobulated outdated system thats needs Congressional Oversight.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 429 Comments: 130488
118. weatherboykris
9:46 PM GMT on January 30, 2007
There are probably criteria.Something like salary,total damage,stregnth of the event.I don't know any details,but that's what it sounds like.
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
113. weatherboykris
9:19 PM GMT on January 30, 2007
Here are maps showing the MDRs and typical tracks of stomrs for each month.Link
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
112. weatherboykris
9:18 PM GMT on January 30, 2007
I'm thinking La Nina
will have an effect all hurricane season,with an especially above average October,which could be bad news for FLorida since the storms coming from the October MDR typically go towards South Florida.
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
110. catastropheadjuster
9:14 PM GMT on January 30, 2007
so you'll think where gonna have low wind shear? Boy if we start off with a early hurricane season it's gonna be a long one. Do you'll think La Nino will come into effect early or is she gonna take effect at all?
Member Since: August 24, 2006 Posts: 21 Comments: 3683
109. weatherboykris
9:13 PM GMT on January 30, 2007
It typically does,STL.
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
108. atmosweather
9:12 PM GMT on January 30, 2007
FEMA assistance denied for residents affected by Christmas Day tornadoes

Disgusting once again from the Feds. Nothing learned from Katrina at all.
Member Since: September 24, 2005 Posts: 33 Comments: 9265
106. Tazmanian
9:10 PM GMT on January 30, 2007
hello : catastropheadjuster
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115509
102. weatherboykris
8:42 PM GMT on January 30, 2007
hurricane season.
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
101. Tazmanian
8:39 PM GMT on January 30, 2007
weatherboykris i see the map you post so when could we see this Lower than normal shear ????
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115509
99. Buhdog
8:17 PM GMT on January 30, 2007
I did not want to discuss it......I was just showing that even with lots of scientific evidence it is hard to decipher and get answers...

but little green men..
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
98. weatherboykris
8:15 PM GMT on January 30, 2007
I'm just joking.But I've had enough Global warming discussion over the past few months to last for years,so if that's what the topic is switching to...Be back later.
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
97. Buhdog
8:10 PM GMT on January 30, 2007
Oh my goodness.....Little green men, skunk apes, and Bigfoot all on the same "50 comments" page? I am trying to just get my facts straight on Global Warming........

How can I take anything serious if we are debating ufo's and weather wars?

I know most of you are joking...those who are not are just silly. IMHO
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
94. auburn (Mod)
2:12 PM CST on January 30, 2007
BBL...have fun you guys
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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