Pacific Northwest Ship Plumes

Page created and maintained by Roger Edwards, Storm Prediction Center

Someone did not spray "silly string" all over the middlke of this satellite picture. Instead, the spaghetti-like cloud formations offshore from Washington and from Vancouver Island, BC, are cloud trails created in thin stratus by the exhaust of ships. These are loosely similar to ice-crystal clouds (contrails) generated by jet aircraft at high altitudes; except here they form clouds of water droplets. The machines producing them are much more slowly moving too, of course.

The day-long development and motion of these plumes is shown and described in more detail in this 4 MB image loop. You can track several ships by following the progress of the leading edges of their trails.

Javascript visible satellite loop of the plumes.

Past Cool Images from SPC

::::: Hurricane Opal (1995) near peak intensity :::::

::::: Hurricane Bertha (1996) north of Puerto Rico :::::

::::: Isolated Supercell associated with Hurricane Bertha :::::

::::: Convectively Induced Vort Max Indicated by Radar :::::

::::: California Wildfires: A Satellite View :::::

::::: Severe Hailstorm along a Gravity Wave :::::

::::: Radar Depictions of Outflow Boundaries :::::

::::: Jarrell TX F5 Tornado (27 May 97) :::::

::::: Central American Fires Spew Smoke into U.S. :::::

::::: Thunderstorm Forms over Florida Wildfire :::::

::::: Radar-detected Sunsets from Minnesota to Tennessee :::::

::::: The North Carolina Tornadocane :::::

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