Distrail Over Ft. Worth, Texas
May 03, 2007
The photo above shows a curious path plowed through an overecast sky near Ft. Worth, Texas on January 29, 2007. This trail is called a distrail, which may be thought of as a negative contrail (condensation trail). The heat of combustion of a jet aircraft's fuel may act to evaporate clouds if they're too thick. Whereas contrails require very cold temperatures, at least -40 C, to form, distrails can form in relatively warm, low clouds or in thin supercooled middle clouds. See also the Earth Science Picture of the Day for November 10, 2004.