WRAL WeatherCenter Blog

I went outside just now (8:30 pm Monday 1/20) and saw a long streak across the sky like a jet trail. Why would that show up at night? Is it because the moon is full? Is it because it is so cold?

Posted January 22, 2008 11:57 a.m. EST

MIKE MOSS SAYS:      Carol,   it seems likely that you saw a typical jet aircraft contrail, but happened to look up on a night when bright moolight made it plainly visible. We probably tend to notice fewer contrails at night because of a variety of factors - on many nights there are either obscuring clouds, or a lack of moonlight when clouds are absent, or we simply spend most of our time under a roof, and finally that later at night there are fewer aircraft aloft.