Evidence of Jet Contrail Influences on Regional-Scale Diurnal Temperature Range

David J Travis, Stanley A Changnon


The occurence of jet contrails at the relatively high altitudes in combination with their unique microphysical structure gives them a strong ability to reduce diurnal temperature  range (DTR) in regions where they are most frequent.  The study attempts to quanify this effect by analyzing trends in diurnal temperature range for a 60-year period (1930-90) for the coterminous U.S.  The results, in general, support the hypothesis with the greatest associations between jet contrail coverage and decreases in DTR found for the "Southwest" and "Northwest" regions of the U.S. and for the Summer and Fall seasons.  A case study analysis also supports the hypothesis.

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