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Fox News: Planes can Control the Weather; make the mysterious Hole Punch Clouds!

 
Anonymous Coward
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06/16/2010 02:07 PM
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Fox News: Planes can Control the Weather; make the mysterious Hole Punch Clouds!
Article Excerpt:

[link to www.foxnews.com]



A few years ago scientists were surprised by the sight of two planes carving a hole through a cloud—which then began spewing snow.

A new study spawned by the accidental discovery solves the mystery behind so-called hole-punch clouds and explains how airplanes can change the weather, at least on an extremely local level.

Scientists have studied hole-punch clouds since the 1940s and have long suspected that planes play a role in their formation. (See pictures of a potentially new type of cloud.)

Now, ice microphysicist Andrew Heymsfield and colleagues have found that aircraft really can create the odd clouds. Their research also uncovered something totally new: that aircraft can unleash precipitation by carving the cloud tunnels, which had never before been observed.

(Pictures: "Night Shining Clouds Getting Brighter.")

How Planes Can Make It Rain

Clouds at a certain the right altitude and temperature—relatively common over western Europe and the U.S. Pacific Northwest, for example—are saturated with water droplets cooled to about 5 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 15 degrees Celsius).

Because the water in these clouds is so pure—with no particles around which vapor can condense and freeze—the droplets remain liquid down to minus 35 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 34 degrees C). If the cloud gets much colder, though, they freeze into ice particles that can produce rain or snow.

When a plane's propeller, for example, spins through a cloud, the propeller exerts a rearward force. The force expands air, cooling by as much as 54 degrees Fahrenheit (30 degrees Celsius), said Heymsfield, of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colorado.

Jets do the same thing when air is forced over their wings, though jets cool air by only about 36 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius).

As planes push cloud temperatures past the tipping point at which supercooled water freezes, the aircraft "seed" the clouds with ice particles, the study says.

"If you introduce ice particles, water vapor will condense on them—like it does on a bathroom mirror that's just a bit cooler than the room—and then snow out" or rain out, Heymsfield explained.

More at link!
Anonymous Coward
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11/03/2012 06:00 PM
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Re: Fox News: Planes can Control the Weather; make the mysterious Hole Punch Clouds!
bump
Anonymous Coward
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11/03/2012 06:24 PM
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Re: Fox News: Planes can Control the Weather; make the mysterious Hole Punch Clouds!
bump
Anonymous Coward
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United Kingdom
11/03/2012 07:29 PM
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Re: Fox News: Planes can Control the Weather; make the mysterious Hole Punch Clouds!
they're trying TOO hard now
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 1461405
United States
11/12/2012 11:42 PM
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Re: Fox News: Planes can Control the Weather; make the mysterious Hole Punch Clouds!
bump