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Can one determine what the cloud situation was like by this photo?


dimrub
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Greetings meteorologists!

 

I would like to present a photo, and ask you what can you say (and with what degree of certainty) about the clouds at the time and locale presented at this photo:

 

Posted Image

 

If you are curious, I'll then explain the background for this request, but I'd rather not do it ahead of time, so as not to skew the possible responses.

Edited by dimrub
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Posted
  • Location: Warminster, Wiltshire
  • Location: Warminster, Wiltshire

    To me it looks like a widening plane contrail (plane to the right of your picture) or a narrow line of a type of Altocumulus.

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    Posted
  • Location: Sunderland
  • Weather Preferences: Hot Summer, Snowy winter and thunderstorms all year round!
  • Location: Sunderland

    smoke from a fire?....

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    I seem to have gone too far by not supplying any context. Please disregard the column of smoke in the center of the picture, it is irrelevant for the question at hand.

    Edited by dimrub
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    Posted
  • Location: Near King's Lynn 13.68m ASL
  • Weather Preferences: Hoar Frost, Snow, Misty Autumn mornings
  • Location: Near King's Lynn 13.68m ASL

    smoke from a fire?....

     

    Agree, it looks like there's some grey smoke to the left which is drifting to the right and then is caught by a thermal.

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    Posted
  • Location: Sunderland
  • Weather Preferences: Hot Summer, Snowy winter and thunderstorms all year round!
  • Location: Sunderland

    right, in that case, you have some high level cirrus, and at low level, just above the pylons (lower left of photo) you have what looks like some distant black smoke from a fire/explosion...no other clouds in photo

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    Posted
  • Location: Sunderland
  • Weather Preferences: Hot Summer, Snowy winter and thunderstorms all year round!
  • Location: Sunderland

    got it......photo taken of smoke trail from the alleged missile launched at MH17........not really a meteorology question, and as this thread was aimed at weather enthusiasts then it in questionable taste...in which case, it might be worth locking thread

     

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    ajpoolshark, you are absolutely correct, this photo is allegedly of the trail left by a missile that took down the MH17 plane. However, the question is purely a meteorological one. And here's the followup question I was going to ask, together with the background. Again, sorry about not mentioning the background ahead of time, the reason will become immediately clear. If the moderators think this is in poor taste or is not sufficiently related to meterology - I will succumb to their ruling.
     
    People elsewhere on the Internet have used this photo to argue about the position of the AA system that may have been used to down the aircraft. Some people claim that the photo is a fake, in particular, that it couldn't have been taken at the specified time and place, because "the skies are clear on the photo, whereas the forecast was heavy clouds".
     
    I'm not a meteorologist, but I am a sailor, and as such, was suspicious of these claims, knowing how imprecise forecasts can be (certainly imprecise enough for a person to based such claims on a "civilian" forecast - and even on a much better naval forecast based directly on a model of decent temporal and spacial resolution). Furthermore, in my opinion, even the weather observed varies sufficiently in order to question such claims. What I wanted was a confirmation from a qualified source. 
     
    To wit, an observation position about 20 miles away has reported Stratocumulus with 90% coverage about 1 hour before the picture was allegedly taken. Would that be ground enough to discard the photo as a fake?
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    Posted
  • Location: Sunderland
  • Weather Preferences: Hot Summer, Snowy winter and thunderstorms all year round!
  • Location: Sunderland

    in that case, it might be worth doing a bit of trawling on the net for satellite imagery for said date, time & location.  Off hand, I know sat24.com offer a visible light imagery archive, which can be found here  ------> http://www.sat24.com/history.aspx....I hope this is of help to you

     

    just to add, it does cover Ukraine

    Edited by ajpoolshark
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    Posted
  • Location: halifax 125m
  • Weather Preferences: extremes the unusual and interesting facts
  • Location: halifax 125m

    I guess it is similar to a vapour trail left by an aeroplane but similar formations can be seen around places like power stations!

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    Posted
  • Location: Shrewsbury
  • Location: Shrewsbury

    I was going to say power station smoke- it has the characteristic "puffs" that can look like small cumulus, as opposed to fire smoke which is one continuous haze.

     

    I looked at a satellite pic of Ukraine the evening of the disaster, most of the country and adjacent parts of Russia were completely clouded over. Looked like a weather system of some kind.

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