Distrail Over the Hague
November 10, 2004
The above photo showing a most impressive jet distrail was taken over The Hague, Netherlands on October 21, 2004. Dissipation trails or distrails are the counterpart to contrails (condensation trails). The heat of combustion of jet aircraft fuel, released into the path swept by the jet, may actually evaporate clouds, as long as they aren't too dense. Whereas contrails require very cold temperatures, at least -40 C, to form, distrails can form in relatively warm, low clouds consisting of water droplets, or in thin supercooled middle clouds. Distrails may appear like linear "footprints" crossing the sky, as is the case here, but only on occasion are they this vivid.