Accessibility navigation

Evaluation of the use of radiosonde humidity data to predict the occurrence of persistent contrails

Radel, G. and Shine, K. P. ORCID: (2007) Evaluation of the use of radiosonde humidity data to predict the occurrence of persistent contrails. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 133 (627). pp. 1413-1423. ISSN 1477-870X

Text - Published Version
· Please see our End User Agreement before downloading.


It is advisable to refer to the publisher's version if you intend to cite from this work. See Guidance on citing.

To link to this item DOI: 10.1002/qj.128


Regular visual observations of persistent contrails over Reading, UK, have been used to evaluate radiosonde measurements of temperature and humidity defining cold ice-supersaturated atmospheric regions which are assumed to be a necessary condition for persistent condensation trails (contrails) to form. Results show a good correlation between observations and predictions using data from Larkhill, 63 km from Reading. A statistical analysis of this result and the forecasts using data from four additional UK radiosonde stations are presented. The horizontal extent of supersaturated layers could be inferred from this to be several hundred kilometres. The necessity of bias corrections to radiosonde humidity measurements is discussed and an analysis of measured ice-supersaturated atmospheric layers in the troposphere is presented. It is found that ice supersaturation is more likely to occur in winter than in summer, with frequencies of 17.3% and 9.4%, respectively, which is mostly due to the layers being thicker in winter than in summer. The most probable height for them to occur is about 10 km.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:817
Uncontrolled Keywords:ice supersaturation; contrails; radiosondes
Publisher:Royal Meteorological Society


Downloads per month over past year

University Staff: Request a correction | Centaur Editors: Update this record

Page navigation