For a contrail enthusiast, I picked the wrong place to live. We hardly ever get persistent contrails here in the summer, but things have been picking up a bit as we go into fall, and today we had this:
A very nice triple set of contrails of three planes that, within about 10-15 minutes of each other flew north along the same flight path. This was taken today, October 26th, 2009, at around 11:20AM in Santa Monica, California, looking east.
It’s actually a 180 degree panoramic shot, the trails are NOT curved, they were straight, and are just distorted because of the nature of the photo (it’s stitched together from about 10 individual images). It looks a lot stranger in this photo than it did in real-life.
There’s a couple of interesting things about this photo. Firstly the middle trail peters out on the right of the photo (the south). This is probably to do with the jet changing altitude.
Secondly there’s a trail in the bottom right corner that crosses the other two at right angles. This was from a jet that was flying in a westerly direction, probably towards Hawaii.
Note the large amount of Cirrus clouds, that usually indicates a change in the weather due to a new weather system bringing in a moisture laden front at high altitude. It’s often a precursor to rain. Indeed the weather is set to change. Today in Santa Monica, the high was 83F, tomorrow it drops suddenly to 63F. Quite a dramatic change
Contrail season in Los Angeles is also the start of the local “Chemtrail” season, where people see these trails, and figure it’s part of some secret government spraying program – not realizing it’s only the weather.