ONLINE: Meteorologist says cloud formation over West Hawaii was likely airplane contrail

KAILUA-KONA — A line-shaped cloud that stretched over West Hawaii shortly after 9 a.m. Wednesday appears to have been a contrail from a plane, according to meteorologists.

West Hawaii Today received numerous reports from people from South Kona to North Kona of what appeared to be a vapor trail arcing over the area from the ocean to over Hualalai. Calls and emails started coming in to the newspaper about 9:20 a.m.

Gavin Shigesato, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Honolulu, said the white lines of vapor were a contrail from a plane that remained in the area for a period of time.

Contrails are formed by water vapor condensing and freezing on particles from airplane exhaust, according to NASA’s Langley Research Center in Virginia.

“With the moisture that we have in the upper atmosphere, it’s not very uncommon to see this kind of phenomenon when we have this kind of weather pattern situated over us right now,” Shigesato said.


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