Mass obscure patterns in redding leading to cloudy skies.

Trailspotter

Senior Member.
I wouldn't say that. Sunday is actually lower than most other days.
Well, my was anecdotal observation of extra Sunday flights over several areas around the World that I have been exploring using FR24 and Flightaware. Also, I do not know how well the daily numbers of passengers correlate with the daily numbers of flights.
 

Trailspotter

Senior Member.
The earth.nullschool.net forecast of the wind and relative humidity for North California yesterday shows a 100% RHw in the Redding area at 250 hPa altitude (~35,000 ft):
Screen shot 2015-05-11 at 13.54.43.png
A southwesterly wind at this altitude was bringing a lot of moisture from Pacific. This forecast is supported by the MODIS satellite images of the day from NASA Worldwiew:

the Terra image on 19:35 UTC (12:35 PDT) and:

the Aqua image on 21:20 UTC (14:20 PDT).

There were indeed a lot of contrails around Redding and beyond, the direct consequence of the wet weather front coming inland combined with a heavy air traffic over the area.
 
Last edited:

Trailspotter

Senior Member.
And if you zoom in the Terra image in the above post, you can see a couple of curved "bumerang" contrails to the northeast and east of Redding (in the bottom left corner). Their general directions are oriented NE to SW (toward or from Hawaii):

It may be possible to identify these. I may try to do it later today but am happy to leave this fun job to others;)
 

solrey

Senior Member.
I really doubt we will see thunder showers by Friday, I'll keep ya posted tho and follow up on the trend.

Sounds like there have already been some thundershowers in your area. Forecast discussion for NorCal:


AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SACRAMENTO CA
330 AM PDT Mon May 11 2015

.Synopsis...
Cooler and more unsettled conditions expected this week across the
interior of NorCal as several weather systems affect the region.

&&

.Discussion...
Showers and thunderstorms have fired up across Shasta County very
early this morning as short-wave energy out ahead of the closed
upper low off the Oregon coast impinges on a conditionally
unstable airmass pooled across the far northern portion of the
state. Elsewhere, skies are partly to mostly cloudy early this
morning across interior NorCal.

The far northern portion of the state will continue to see showers
and perhaps a few thunderstorms today into Tuesday as the closed
low moves over southern Oregon/extreme northern California. The
main impact on the remainder of the area will be cooler weather
along with locally breezy conditions.
Content from External Source
We have widespread rain here in NW Oregon today. Yesterday we also had a lot of persistent contrails, cirrostratus and a push of marine stratus later in the day, the result of Pacific moisture entrained in that low pressure circulation. A lot of the N-S traffic over Redding flies over my location in Corvallis, OR.
 

Igrokush1

Member
And if you zoom in the Terra image in the above post, you can see a couple of curved "bumerang" contrails to the northeast and east of Redding (in the bottom left corner). Their general directions are oriented NE to SW (toward or from Hawaii):

It may be possible to identify these. I may try to do it later today but am happy to leave this fun job to others;)
Hey good job! What about those I saw circle back to point if origin?
 

NoParty

Senior Member.
MOST of the flights that go over my head in San Diego's 'East County'
are curving from southerly to easterly...and then a full 180,
back to approach San Diego International (aka 'Lindbergh Field') flying west...

Screen Shot 2015-05-11 at 7.32.43 AM.png
so curved routes are the norm, to me...
 

Igrokush1

Member
The sun is out today, no sign of these reported showers.
Sounds like there have already been some thundershowers in your area. Forecast discussion for NorCal:


AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SACRAMENTO CA
330 AM PDT Mon May 11 2015

.Synopsis...
Cooler and more unsettled conditions expected this week across the
interior of NorCal as several weather systems affect the region.

&&

.Discussion...
Showers and thunderstorms have fired up across Shasta County very
early this morning as short-wave energy out ahead of the closed
upper low off the Oregon coast impinges on a conditionally
unstable airmass pooled across the far northern portion of the
state. Elsewhere, skies are partly to mostly cloudy early this
morning across interior NorCal.

The far northern portion of the state will continue to see showers
and perhaps a few thunderstorms today into Tuesday as the closed
low moves over southern Oregon/extreme northern California. The
main impact on the remainder of the area will be cooler weather
along with locally breezy conditions.
Content from External Source
We have widespread rain here in NW Oregon today. Yesterday we also had a lot of persistent contrails, cirrostratus and a push of marine stratus later in the day, the result of Pacific moisture entrained in that low pressure circulation. A lot of the N-S traffic over Redding flies over my location in Corvallis, OR.
 

Igrokush1

Member
Ok thank you
OK, well one of the problems is, when you DON'T see trails, you may easily assume that the planes are not there.
I just did some playback on FR24 zoomed in on Redding so the screen edges were about 25km away.
Between 17:00 UTC (should be 10am Cali time) and 19:30 UTC on the 10th, with playback speed on 72X I counted 42 aircraft at least as big as a Dash 8 (didn;t check height) within that distance.

On the 9th, it was about 48, and on the 8th, it was about 52, on the 7th it was 50.
So this seems like a perfectly normal level of air traffic.

The most distant of the trails you see on the OP Photo are easily more like 35 MILES away than 25km. So there is a LOT of air traffic that could easily account for the number of trails you saw if the weather conditions were right.

This plane appears to be Military. It registers on FR24 as GOTOFMS with no extra information but tracing its track back, it appears to have started from Travis AFB.
 

solrey

Senior Member.
The sun is out today, no sign of these reported showers.

They were north of you in the wee hours of the morning. Current radar image shows a line of showers to your southwest along the eastern side of the coast range. On satellite it looks pretty cloudy throughout NorCal except from around Redding on south through the valley. Just because it's sunny in your neck of the woods doesn't mean it's sunny throughout the region.
 

Igrokush1

Member
MOST of the flights that go over my head in San Diego's 'East County'
are curving from southerly to easterly...and then a full 180,
back to approach San Diego International (aka 'Lindbergh Field') flying west...

Screen Shot 2015-05-11 at 7.32.43 AM.png
so curved routes are the norm, to me...
But what I'm seeing, is a contrail you can follow with your finger starting at a point, hook around to the other direction and come back. Like a 'boomerang' folks. A loop a loo, a circle if you must, not just a flipping curved flight.
 

Igrokush1

Member
Right, hence my point.. I doubt we will see thunderstorms in redding, lol
They were north of you in the wee hours of the morning. Current radar image shows a line of showers to your southwest along the eastern side of the coast range. On satellite it looks pretty cloudy throughout NorCal except from around Redding on south through the valley. Just because it's sunny in your neck of the woods doesn't mean it's sunny throughout the region.
 

Trailblazer

Moderator
Staff member
But what I'm seeing, is a contrail you can follow with your finger starting at a point, hook around to the other direction and come back. Like a 'boomerang' folks. A loop a loo, a circle if you must, not just a flipping curved flight.
If you mean the one in your original post, again I don't see any evidence for that. I see a straight line, then a curve, then another straight line until the contrail goes out of sight.
 

Igrokush1

Member
Wow that's great research weather guru! Good investigating. The initial thing that caught my eye was the two flights I could follow with my finger that indeed circled back, then everything else followed.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
There are many potential reasons a plane might fly in a circle or some form of circuit, and it does happen. I don't see any evidence of it from these photos though.

Since those were the ones you found most interesting, why did you not photograph them?
 

Igrokush1

Member
I should have recorded it, that would have cut out a lot of confusion. I say it did for sure circle back.
If you mean the one in your original post, again I don't see any evidence for that. I see a straight line, then a curve, then another straight line until the contrail goes out of sight.
 

NoParty

Senior Member.
But what I'm seeing, is a contrail you can follow with your finger starting at a point, hook around to the other direction and come back. Like a 'boomerang' folks. A loop a loo, a circle if you must, not just a flipping curved flight.
I'm not seeing that in your pics. You're saying they flew out of sight, but that you knew they were the same planes
that came back into sight, completing a loop?

Well, as Mick said (sorry, I began this post, then got interrupted, and 3 or 4 posts happened while I was distracted) there's
lots of reasons a loop can happen...and I bet that even planes flying the normal approach to Lindbergh Field
(that I showed in post #48) appear to be doing a loop to some people casually observing from certain vantage points...
 
Last edited:

Trailblazer

Moderator
Staff member
I'm not seeing that in your pics. You're saying they flew out of sight, but that you knew they were the same planes
that came back into sight, completing a loop?

Well, as Mick said (sorry, I began this post, then got interrupted, and 3 or 4 posts happened while i was distracted) there's
lots of reasons it a loop can happen...and I bet that even planes flying the normal approach to Lindbergh Field
(that I showed in post #48) appear to be doing a loop to some people casually observing from certain vantage points...
If it's the plane I think it is, then the time of the photo was probably rather earlier than 11.35. @Igrokush1 can you use an EXIF viewer to get the exact time?


In any case I really don't see anything out of the ordinary here. This was my sky this morning and there are almost as many trails now, merging into cirrus. No curving trails in this shot but they do often curve just to the west of here over a navigation beacon.

image.jpg
 
Last edited:

solrey

Senior Member.
Right, hence my point.. I doubt we will see thunderstorms in redding, lol

You originally said by Friday and there's a chance of showers every day this week. The point is that the low pressure circulating off the coast of OR that's bringing rain to the greater NorCal region today was bringing high altitude moisture to the region yesterday producing persistent contrails and cirrus clouds. Don't be surprised to see a repeat of yesterdays persistent contrails at least once this week.
 

Trailblazer

Moderator
Staff member
And if you zoom in the Terra image in the above post, you can see a couple of curved "bumerang" contrails to the northeast and east of Redding (in the bottom left corner). Their general directions are oriented NE to SW (toward or from Hawaii):

It may be possible to identify these. I may try to do it later today but am happy to leave this fun job to others;)

Those double dogleg trails are a good match for routes into SFO. For instance:

upload_2015-5-11_17-4-6.png
 

SR1419

Senior Member.
But what I'm seeing, is a contrail you can follow with your finger starting at a point, hook around to the other direction and come back. Like a 'boomerang' folks. A loop a loo, a circle if you must, not just a flipping curved flight.


Your picture doesnt show that. Do you have any pictures of it?

What does the flight path have to do with the fact that contrails often persist and spread and cover the sky in a haze of cirrus cloud?
 

Trailspotter

Senior Member.
I have matched contrails in the OP photo to those in the Terra satellite image. I've downloaded a KMZ Google Earth file from http://lance-modis.eosdis.nasa.gov/imagery/subsets/?subset=AERONET_Trinidad_Head.2015130.terra.250m,
raised the image to a contrail altitude of 10,600 meters and looked at it from the ground:
Screen shot 2015-05-11 at 18.14.33.png
To get the match, I've moved the viewpoint about 90 km to the East of Redding. This is about one hour downwind at the forecasted wind speed of 85 km/h. As the Terra image had been taken at 19:35 UTC (12:35 PDT), this match confirms the time of OP photos (about 11:30 PDT), as well as its NE viewing direction.
The resulting GE image was manipulated before and after screenshot to enhance the contrail images and to reduce the ground features in the "sky".
PS No loop or U-turn contrails are present in either of the satellite images (#42).
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
But what I'm seeing, is a contrail you can follow with your finger starting at a point, hook around to the other direction and come back. Like a 'boomerang' folks. A loop a loo, a circle if you must, not just a flipping curved flight.
why don't you just provide a picture vs. acting like everyone should understand what you are describing. are you talking about an "S" pattern? or a boomerang pattern?

I wouldn't mind a picture of the grey covered sky either :)
 

Trailblazer

Moderator
Staff member
why don't you just provide a picture vs. acting like everyone should understand what you are describing. are you talking about an "S" pattern? or a boomerang pattern?

I wouldn't mind a picture of the grey covered sky either :)
If I saw a contrail describing a full circle or even a U-turn, I would take a photo of it.

This was an hour or so ago, and quite a sharp bend, relatively speaking. Worthy of a photo.

image.jpg
image.jpg
 

Igrokush1

Member
You're right Mick, I shouldn't have said circle exactly, more like a big u turn. I didn't do a photo because I thought it would be hard to show in multiple pics, that's why I tried to focus on the turn itself. I really should have recorded it but did not have the space on my phone. As it made the u-turn it crossed several other trails. I have another pic of the turn I haven't posted yet. I was facing northwest at the time. Phone pics sometimes really suck for this sort of thing.
So, more of a u-turn than a circle? Or did it fly in a circuit and continue on its original path?
 

Igrokush1

Member
I did post a pic, it's at the beginning of the thread dear. So is the grey sky pic...lol!
why don't you just provide a picture vs. acting like everyone should understand what you are describing. are you talking about an "S" pattern? or a boomerang pattern?

I wouldn't mind a picture of the grey covered sky either :)
 

Igrokush1

Member
Wow, amazing!!
I have matched contrails in the OP photo to those in the Terra satellite image. I've downloaded a KMZ Google Earth file from http://lance-modis.eosdis.nasa.gov/imagery/subsets/?subset=AERONET_Trinidad_Head.2015130.terra.250m,
raised the image to a contrail altitude of 10,600 meters and looked at it from the ground:
Screen shot 2015-05-11 at 18.14.33.png
To get the match, I've moved the viewpoint about 90 km to the East of Redding. This is about one hour downwind at the forecasted wind speed of 85 km/h. As the Terra image had been taken at 19:35 UTC (12:35 PDT), this match confirms the time of OP photos (about 11:30 PDT), as well as its NE viewing direction.
The resulting GE image was manipulated before and after screenshot to enhance the contrail images and to reduce the ground features in the "sky".
PS No loop or U-turn contrails are present in either of the satellite images (#42).
 

Igrokush1

Member
Copy that, thanks for the clarification
I'm not seeing that in your pics. You're saying they flew out of sight, but that you knew they were the same planes
that came back into sight, completing a loop?

Well, as Mick said (sorry, I began this post, then got interrupted, and 3 or 4 posts happened while I was distracted) there's
lots of reasons a loop can happen...and I bet that even planes flying the normal approach to Lindbergh Field
(that I showed in post #48) appear to be doing a loop to some people casually observing from certain vantage points...
 

skephu

Senior Member.
You're right Mick, I shouldn't have said circle exactly, more like a big u turn. I didn't do a photo because I thought it would be hard to show in multiple pics, that's why I tried to focus on the turn itself. I really should have recorded it but did not have the space on my phone. As it made the u-turn it crossed several other trails. I have another pic of the turn I haven't posted yet. I was facing northwest at the time. Phone pics sometimes really suck for this sort of thing.
If you look at the path of UA900 in post #64, it contains a U-turn. It's how the plane flew over the mountain range and the turned towards San Francisco airport.
I don't see any mystery here. Just air traffic as usual.
 

Igrokush1

Member
If you look at the path of UA900 in post #64, it contains a U-turn. It's how the plane flew over the mountain range and the turned towards San Francisco airport.
I don't see any mystery here. Just air traffic as usual.
Good spot, I knew I wasn't hallucinating...again!
 

Related Articles

Top