Friday, September 21, 2007


Condensation trails (contrails) formed by aircrafts are sometimes visible from the ground for several
hours. Numerous contrails are formed in the vicinity of main air- traffic routes; due to additional
spreading effects contrails may contribute significantly to the total cloud cover. Continuous
observational methods are used to study the formation of contrails in the subarctic setting of
Fairbanks, Alaska. Since March of 2000 a contrail database has been established, which includes
contrail characteristics, Federal Aviation Administration flight data, and atmospheric measurements
derived from radiosonde ascents at Fairbanks International Airport. The contrail analysis is based on
all-sky digital camera imagery and direct observations of aircrafts.

Daily Overflights for Fairbanks, AK airspace.

Note: Page was updated for the last time by Martin Stuefer, 13.Apr.2006.
The flight data is no longer being updated. However, the flight archive is available.
On Oct 17th 2003, the United States Air Force conducted manuevers in the Fairbanks area that resulted in many
spectacular contrails. The formations of jets ranged in number from 3 to 7 and some examples of the resulting
contrails are shown below. Also shown is the output of the UAF Contrail Forecast based on atmospheric sounding
measurements at Fairbanks Airport showing the contrail layer for that day.

Click on the image for larger view.
Photos taken October 17, 2003 by Martin Stuefer

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