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Analysis of Dynamical and Thermal Processes Driving Fog and Quasi-Fog Life Cycles Using the 2010-2013 ParisFog Dataset

Abstract : The data from suite of in situ sensors, passive and active remote sensing instruments dedicated to document simultaneously radiative and thermo-dynamical processes driving the fog life cycle at the SIRTA Observatory (instrumented site for atmospheric remote sensing research) near Paris during two periods of 6 months are analysed. The study focuses on the analysis of the relative role of key physical processes and their interactions during fog formation, development and dissipation phases. This work presents, from analysis of detailed observations, the range of values that critical parameters have to take for fog and quasi-fog formation. In our study, we consider fog (horizontal visibility lower than 1 km, a dataset of 300 h) and quasi-fog (horizontal visibility ranging from 1 to 2 km, a dataset of 400 h) events induced by radiative cooling (53 events) and stratus lowering (64 events). For the radiative fog events, (with radiative cooling during prefog conditions), we note that the longwave net radiative flux (around -60 ± 5 W/m2) induces a cooling of the surface layer. The vertical structure of this cooling is controlled by dynamics, that is, wind shear and horizontal and vertical velocities. In case of very low mixing (wind speed below 0.6 m/s), the thermal stability is very strong with a temperature inversion around 3.5 °C for 10 m and a humidity gradient reaching 10 % preventing vertical development of the fog layer. For stratus-lowering fog events, the altitude of the stratus layer, the vertical mixing and the absolute value of humidity are driving parameters of the fog formation. Our statistical analysis shows that a stratus cloud with a cloud base around 170 m and with a small cloud-base subsidence rate of 50 m/h leads to fog, whereas a stratus cloud with a base around 800 m agl, with a larger cloud-base subsidence rate of 190 m/h conducts to quasi-fog situations with an important increase of the stratus liquid water path.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, July 19, 2022 - 8:41:26 AM
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J. C. Dupont, M. Haeffelin, S. Stolaki, T. Elias. Analysis of Dynamical and Thermal Processes Driving Fog and Quasi-Fog Life Cycles Using the 2010-2013 ParisFog Dataset. Pure and Applied Geophysics, 2016, 173, pp.1337-1358. ⟨10.1007/s00024-015-1159-x⟩. ⟨insu-03727112⟩



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