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Science Plan

Forecast Demonstration Project


Forecast Demonstration Project Fog Science Plan

1. Introduction
Forecasting intensity and duration of fog during the winter months has become very crucial in the recent years, particularly in Delhi International Airport and over North India, in general, due to severe disruption of commercial airfield operations. Developing operational capabilities for providing quantitative fog forecasting, in support of operating various categories of instrument landing

systems from time to time based on the visibility ranges has been the long standing demand of Ministry of Civil Aviation and Airports Authority of India. During December 1998, 180 hours of fog over Delhi led to cancellation/diversion of 245 flights apart from delaying 737 flights. Occurrence of dense fog during late in the night or early in the morning over many parts of India especially northern parts of India is very common in winter. These fog occurrences many times remain so prolonged and well organized with large spatial extension over the region that it can be easily detected in satellite morning visible pictures as a very big white patch up to 1130 IST which may be rare in any other part of the world if one considers its unique larger spatial coverage. Observations show occurrences of most of these events associated with availability of high moisture over large area under calm winds, vertically stable atmosphere at lower levels and clear sky conditions and hence belong to category of radiation fog. Because the northern region of the country comes under direct impact of middle latitude circulation in peak winter, regular movement of western disturbances, troughs in westerly etc. through the region provides an ideal platform suited with above atmospheric conditions favoring for fog formation and hence are the main culprits. Also over many other parts of the country, longer nights in peak winter also help in significant fall of air temperature 2

near surface due to which water vapors get sufficient cooling requires for dense fog formation when land and water surfaces that have warmed up during the day are still evaporating a lot of water into the atmosphere. In every winter, flight take off/landing over the various airports in India especially at North are severely affected by their occurrences. Except aviation, it causes severe disruption to the ground transport, train services, damages winter crops, Horticulture etc. Prolonged and frequent fog spells sometimes cause the day temperature remains below 13 C consecutively many days through obscuring the sky like clouds and hence also hazardous to human health. Even Power lines seems to be very much sensitive to dense fog occurrences when it has very high moisture and the power sector asked IMD views in this regard when it fears the severe tripping happened in NCR Delhi area on 9th March 2008 was mainly due to very dense Fog occurrences. Since fog has very high damage potential to various sectors especially to aviations over the country, it is very much necessary to digitize their data from current weather registers available for various Airport Met. stations of India and then analyze them to find details micro-climatological characteristics of their occurrences e.g. time of onset, dispersals, durations at various intensity ranges. Subsequently it is very much necessary to develop objective tools for their forecasting well in advance. IMD has been issuing fog forecasting through its various Airport Met. Offices(AMO) and MC/MO by traditional synoptic methods based upon synoptic and upper air observations. At AMOs, it is normally indicated in Aerodrome Forecast or local forecast which are updated regularly at regular 3-8 hours intervals. However, no attempt has been made to develop and implement any objective method/model for fog forecasting at any center of IMD.









climatological and synoptic 3

information are only used for Fog Forecasting in

various airfields on operational basis.

Conventional methods of forecasting of

fog phenomena (visibility) have been of immense help to the field forecaster, but have their inherent limitations in predicting the time of onset, cessation and the expected visibility in fog. Ironically, the progress in the operational forecast of

fog has been slow world over. The advent of Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) models has given the weather forecasters an insight into the behavior of meteorological parameters into a future time of specific locations. This has proved to be a boon for the community in generating time and location specific weather prediction. Thus NWP models can be efficiently incorporated in proving the fog forecasting techniques.

The Brain Storming Meeting of MoES on the Improved Weather Forecasting held during 26-28 February 2008 discussed the issue of fog forecasting in a special session. Centre for Mathematical Modelling and Computer Simulation (CMMACS), Bangalore, working under CSIR has developed a methodology for fog forecasting that showed promising results.

After the review of the nature and criticality of the programme, Secretary MoES constituted (2008) an Advisory and Management Council (PAMC) with Director General of Meteorology as the Chairman along with Director, NAL and Head, CMMACS and other representatives from Indian Air Force Meteorology Directorate etc. One very important recommendation that PAMC made is that Fog Forecasting System (FFS) should be implemented as a multi-institutional project with IMD as the lead institution considering its airport operational responsibilities by integrating the special observation network set up available for the airports and dynamical fog modeling framework of CMMACS. A task team is constituted for preparing a joint development project for improved FFS and its adaptation to other airports of North India involving scientists from IMD, CMMACS, NCMRWF, JNU and IAF Meteorology Directorate for implementation from 2009-10 with due financial and manpower support requirements. During 2008-2009, attempt was made recalibrate the CMACS Fog mode for Delhi and 4

Palam Airports. Recalibrated model was tested during 2008-09 and 2009-10 winter months for Delhi and Amritsar Airport. The performance of the model was found not that encouraging to be used for the operational applications. It has suggested for adopting an improved mesosale model with complete data assimilation procedure.

2. Main Objectives 2.1 The key scientific objectives of this project:

To develop and implement a NWP based Fog Forecasting System for the major Airports in India for predicting hourly visibility at 24 hours lead time, with provision to upgrade the forecast at six hours intervals based on synoptic observations. This should include real-time forecasting of occurrence, duration and intensity (visibility) of Fog.

3.2 Associated development activities

The proposed development work comprising of following components:








Climatology of hourly visibility for following sisteen major Airports of India namely, Amritsar, Gauwahati, Bhubaneswar, Kolkata, Patana, Varanasi, Lucknow, Bangalore, Chennei, Hyderabad,

Visakhapatanam, Nagpur, (IAF)

Agra (IAF), Jammu (IAF), Allahabad

To understand physical aspects of Fog: To carryout a detailed study to identify physical processes responsible for development of Fog. Development of a Statistical Dynamical Fog Prediction model: As dynamical model has got both strength and weakness, it is necessary to implement a statistical dynamical model in conjunction 5

with a dynamical model.

As such it is

proposed to develop a

statistical-dynamical model for the four major airports of Delhi, Amritsar, Kolkata and Bangalore. to serve as a forecast guidance tool to the operational forecaster of India Meteorological

Department. The development work involves: (i) To validate the model output of meteorological parameters (viz., wind speed, 2m temperature, humidity etc) related to fog from different NWP models and (ii) to develop statistical downscaling techniques using the NWP model products

Statistical downscaling can be done by linear (principal component analysis, canonical correlation analysis, multiple linear regression) and non-linear (artificial neural network, multivariate splines) methods. There are two formulation methods that are used for statistical downscaling by multiple linear regression. They are: (i) the Perfect Prog Method(PPM) and (ii) the Model Output Statistics (MOS). Both these methods utilize a two-step

procedure. At the first stage, equations are developed between upper airfields and surface parameter to be predicted. In case of PPM, upper air fields are past observations or NWP analysis and in MOS it is the past NWP forecast. In the second stage these equations are used to prepare the actual forecast.

In PPM, stable relationship can be developed by using the observed circulation(analysis) for a longer period and same relation can be used even if the NWP model undergone a change. On the other hand MOS equations have to redeveloped if NWP models changes. But a major advantage of MOS is that it takes care of the growing errors and uncertainties of the numerical models with forecast lead-time. Therefore the MOS technique is proposed to be used in the prediction of fog.

3. Collaborative Agencies
(a) India Meteorological Department (b) Indian Air Force (c) Indian Navy (d) To be identified

4. Formation of Fog
Fog may be defined as a surface cloud sufficiently thick to reduce visibility to below some threshold. It will be a thick mist if the cloud consists of water particles, a thick haze if it consists of smoke or dust particles which would be persistent even in a dry atmosphere. While basic physics of fog formation has been recognized quite early (Taylor, 1917; Pettersen, 1939), details of this phenomenon are still being put together (Roach. W,. 1995; Peters-Lidard et al, 1998). Fog through its effect on visibility and cooling of the lower atmosphere affects diverse sectors like aviation, agriculture, tourism and strategy; there are also indications of the influence of frequent fog on local climate (Jennamani, 2007).

Formation of fog of water particles is a result of a complex interplay of a number of processes. A description of fog formation has to account for the genesis and maintenance of a cloud at the earth's surface. The most common process of cloud-formation, the cooling of moist air due to ascent, cannot be invoked for fog formation except in the case of fog forming the cloud-caps of hills. Thus formation of fog can be attributed to the only other process that causes cloudiness, namely the mixing of masses of moist air of different temperatures. In case of formation of fog over land, some cases of mistiness amounting to fog arise from the replacement of cold surface air which has cooled the earth, by a cold current. However, this process cannot ascent to detached masses or banks of fogs. The ordinary land or valley fog of the autumn evening or winter morning is due to combination of three causes, first the cooling of the surface layer of air 7

at or after sunset by the radiation of the earth, secondly the slow downward flow (in the absence of wind) of the air thus cooled towards lower levels following roughly the course of natural water drainage of the land, and thirdly the supply of moisture by evaporation from warm moist soil or from relatively warm water surface of a river or a lake. Fog formed this way then gradually carried downward by the natural, though slow, descent of cooled air. The wreaths and banks thus formed in the lowest parts, eventually for the whole valley becomes filled with a cloud of mist or fog. In the case of persistent fog a remarkable characteristic is the coldness of the foggy air at the surface in spite of the heat of the sun rays falling upon the upper surface of the fog. A priori it may appear that the formation of fog would arrest cooling by radiation, and that fog would thus act as protection of plants against frost. The condensation of water evaporated from wet ground, which affords the material for making fog, does apparently act as protection, and heavy watering sometimes used to protect plants from frost, but the same cannot be said for fog itself. Cooling appears to go on in spite of the formation of fog. The density distribution of fog particles also varies with height, which makes study and modeling of fog more complex.

Fog particles sink to the ground very slowly and hence it would sink within an hour or two. But the cooling action at the top of the fog bank produces more fog. Once fog forms, dissipation sets in. Fog is cleared mainly by the Sun through the processes of warming the top of the fog bank causing evaporation and breakup of fog, warming the middle of the fog bank helping in the evaporation process and warming the ground beneath the fog causing radiation heating to evaporate the fog from below. Thus the fog bank is depleted from all the sides. In addition, fog is also dispersed through advection by wind. All the processes need to be incorporated and adequately represented in a dynamic model for successful fog forecasting.

The effective fog forecasting requires a more vertical view of processes in the potential fog layer. Surface-based approaches to fog forecasting fail to account 8

for key information above and below the conventionally observed and forecast data, including:-

(a)The vertical distribution of humidity in the potential fog layer (surface-500 feet). (b)The turbulent mixing potential of the lower boundary layer. (c)The ground temperature of the surface beneath the potential fog layer.

Standard forecasting practice calls for clear skies as a requirement for the development of radiation fog, failing to explicitly recognize that pre-existing stratus clouds can build down (thicken and lower) into a fog in a radiatively cooling boundary layer.

As per WMO the visibility is defined as V=(kd0)/w, where = density of the atmosphere, w = liquid-water content, d0 = median volume diameter, k = 1.2 (a fixed constant). So by manipulating the mean diameter of the aerosols (i.e. increase the size of the particle), density (removal of water vapor) or the liquid water content (Condensing fog to mist), the visibility can be improved.

Based on visibility and composition, various phenomena are described as follows:-

(a) Fog. When relative humidity more than 75% the fog appears, however the visibility reduces to less than 1000 mts.


If the fog visibility is between 1000 & 500 mts, it is known as shallow fog.


If the visibility is between 500 & 200 mts, it is called moderate fog.


For dense fog the visibility range should be between 200 and 50 mts.


In thick fog the visibility further reduces to less than 50 mts.

(b) Haze. When the relative humidity is equal or less than 75% the haze forms, however the visibility reduces to 2000 mts to 5000mts.

(c) Mist. When the relative humidity is equal to 75% the mist forms, however the visibility reduces to 1000 mts to 2000mts.

(d) Smog. When pollutants and smoke remain suspended in the air near ground with wind remaining light the smog forms, but no humidity criteria. The visibility reduces but no specific range criteria.

Fog is the least dynamic of all cloud phenomena. Cloud dynamicists often classify fog as a micrometeorological phenomenon because it forms next to the earth in the atmospheric boundary layer, a domain traditionally covered by

micrometeorologists. Lectures in micro meteorology, however, often consider for to be in the discipline of cloud dynamics or, perhaps, mesoscale meteorology. Fog does, in fact, span all these discipline (as do many cloud systems); it occurs in the atmospheric boundary layer; it is a well-defined cloud in most instances, and it exhibits horizontal and temporal variability on scales normally thought to be the domain of mesoscale meteorology.


4.1 Types of Fog and Formation Mechanisms

Fog can be categorized into four main types:(a) Radiation Fog. (i) Ground fog. (ii) High inversion fog. (iii) Advection-radiation fog. (iv) Upslope fog. (v) Mountain-valley fog.

(b) Frontal Fog. (i) Prefrontal (warm front). (ii) Postfrontal (Cold front). (iii) Frontal Passage.

(c) Advection (mixing) Fog. (i) Sea fog. ii) Tropical air fog. (iii) Land and sea-breeze fog. (iv) Steam fog

Although phenomenon of fog remaining the same, the process of making fog may differ. The physical mechanisms responsible for the formation of fog involve three primary processes:-

(a) Cooling of air to its dew point. (b) Addition of water vapour to the air. (c) Vertical mixing of moist air parcels having different temperatures.


The first mechanism generally explains radiation fogs, while the second causes frontal fogs and the third produces advection fog. A combination of all the three mechanisms affects most fogs, though one mechanism may dominate.

The fog mostly occurs due to radiational cooling at night but may be advected also to the region. The radiation fog is caused principally by radiative cooling of the underlying surface particularly when it has been moistened by rain. fog is characterized by strong inversion close to ground. Advection fog Such occurs

due to advection of moist airmass over a cooler land or sea surface, the surface being dry as compared to the advected air. The winter fog over land forms most frequently in stagnant air from a warm and humid source which is subsequently cooled by outgoing long-wave radiation (OLR) from the earth's surface. In such cases, the cause of fog formation may be ascribed to advection followed by

radiation. Radiation fog is generally shallow by nature. Advection fog is relatively deep and can withstand diurnal heating for a longer duration. Fog resulting

from combined effect of the two may be even deeper than that resulting from one process alone.

Widespread fog occurrence in the morning and forenoon hours over Northwest India is nearly periodic each year during December and January. The areal extent of fog and its persistent over a fortnight attract the attention of forecasters, particularly the aviation forecasters. These long spells of weather fog are

associated with typical synoptic and thermodynamic features which are not seen in the case of usual radiation fog. Although the frequency of such is rare but considering its impact on flying operations over a large occurrences areas and for them

longer durations it is essential to identify these features and distinguish from those leading to shorter spells of fog.

4,2 Various aspects of Fog

(a) Meteorological Aspects 12

Earlier studies on the subject suggest to that radiation fog forms after the passage of western disturbances/induced low. It is due to availability of moisture due to precipitation during the passage of western disturbances and clear skies leading to diurnal cooling and establishment of cool continental airmass after the passage. Synoptic settings remaining same, however, the intensity of fog may differ from place to place. Beside the large scale forces, small scale local forces also paly important role in fog formation and also of its dissipation. It is possibly due to the presence of physiological feature with respect of the place and also due to anthropogenic activities. The subject is vast but is known to most of Indian Meteorologists and therefore not elaborated.

(b) Chemical and Pollution Aspects

The fog formation at a location depends on localized parameters viz. Moisture, temperature distribution of aerosols, their sizes and nature etc. These pollutants are from dust, organic or inorganic compounds emanating from forest fire, biogas burning, industries, automobiles etc. Aerosols sometimes act as Cloud Condensation Nuclei (CCN) responsible for the formation of fog. The properties of aerosol in the ambient air play important role in fog onset as the activation fog droplets is a function of several physical, chemical, dynamical properties. The number of aerosols that will influence the number of activated droplets determines the fog liquid water content and visibility. The activation of fog droplets occurs at different super saturations for different chemical compositions of aerosols. Fog is also composed of haze particles. The relative humidity which dry aerosols start absorbing water is a function aerosol composition. The concentration of haze particles depends on the composition of ambient aerosols. It can be seen that the properties of aerosols (size and chemical compositor) have a strong impact on occurrence of fog. Moreover, aerosols will also have an impact on subsequent evolution of the fog layer.


The presence of fog droplets modifies the characteristics of aerosols. Aqueousphase chemical reactions occur in fog droplets which modify the properties of aerosols. Some aerosols activated and grow into fog droplets during the formation of fog. They are subsequently delivered back to the atmosphere when the fog is dissipated. Nature takes care in removal of pollution such as Sulphate, Nitrate radicals etc in the formation of fog. These radicals fall back to the ground with mist or light precipitation. In each episode of fog, a few milligrams of radicals are removed from the atmosphere down to ground from each sq. mt. Of surface area.

The hydrometeors of various size distribution having varied density which affects visibility also affects its dissipation process, and may also have varied thickness of fog layer which may not permit any solar radiation in the visible range to penetrate through the fog layer and therefore fog does not lift through ground heating. Anthropogenic activities add another dimension to the phenomena and with their varied presence as gas as well as in terms of particulates in terms of chemical composition and particle size distribution, the ground visibility is affected and also affected is its improvement. The chemical composition and their size distribution need to be studied to address issues while attempting any dissipation mechanism.

(c) Chemical Composition of Fog occurring at Delhi

A land campaign, organised by ISRO-GBP with multi-institutional scientific effort was carried out aiming to understand the pollution dynamics on the Ganga basin in northern India during winter season (DEC 05 to Jan 06) to test the hypothesis that anthropogenic aerosol loading contributions to the prolonged and enhanced foggy/hazy winters (Tare et al., JGR 2006; Tripathi et al., 2006). During the winter season, from December to February, the whole part of the Northern India experiences western disturbances moving eastward from west, which leads to intense fog and haze in the region (Pasricha et al., 2003). 14

5. Theory of Fog
Fog is the least dynamic of all cloud phenomena. Cloud dynamists often classify fog as a micrometeorological phenomenon because it forms next to the earth in the atmospheric boundary layer, a domain traditionally covered by

micrometeorologists. Lecturers in micrometeorology, however, often consider fog to be in the discipline of cloud dynamics or, perhaps, mesoscale meteorology. Fog does, in fact, span all these discipline (as do many cloud systems); it occurs in the atmospheric boundary layer; it is a well-defined cloud in most instances, and it exhibits horizontal and temporal variability on scales normally thought to be the domain of mesoscale meteorology. The physical mechanisms responsible for the formation of fog involve three primary processes:-

(a) Cooling of air to its dew point temperatures (b) Addition water vapour to the air (c) Vertical mixing of moist air parcels having different temperatures

The first mechanism generally explains radiation fogs, while the second causes frontal fogs and the third produces advection fog. A combined of all three mechanisms affects most fogs, though one mechanism may dominate.

The formation of radiation-fog can be explained using the Clausius - Claperon diagram. Fog forms by steady, isobaric cooling of by contact with the cold ground and by radiative flux divergence in moist or cloudy air until the air is cooled to saturation. The water vapour content of the air is not fully conserved; some of the moisture is lost by dew deposition on the earth surface. Thus, additional cooling of the air is needed for fog to form.


Frontal fog often involve the addition of moisture by falling precipitation from relatively warm layers aloft into underlying cooler, sub-saturated air. The addition of water vapour causes the mixing ratio in the air to exceed the saturation mixing ratio.

Advection fogs form when near-saturated air parcels of different temperatures mix vertically. For example, the formation of a sea fog as warm, moist air flows over a cooler ocean surface.

5.1 Radiation Fog Physics and Dynamics

(a) The Role of Radiative Cooling

Radiation fog commences with strong radiative cooling of the earth's surface. Nights with clear skies, light winds and high relative humidities favour radiation fog. Radiation cools the earth's surface, which then cools the air close to the earth's surface by conduction. In addition, radiative flux divergence in the moist atmosphere is also important. Brown & Roach (1976) concluded that gaseous radiative cooling is necessary to account for fog formation on the observed time scale of a few hours.

Once the fog forms aloft, radiative flux divergence at the fog top increases the stability at and immediately above the fog top and destabilises the lapse rate within and below the fog. The resultant vertical mixing of the cold foggy air with clear, nearly saturated air below causes the fog to propagate downward. Radiative cooling at the fog top also increases the liquid-water content and decreases the visibility in the fog, often contributing to its upward propagation as well.

Radiation is also important on the scale of individual droplets in fogs. Roach (1976) and Barkstrom (1978) included a radiative transfer term in the equations 16

for heat and water mass budgets of a spherical droplet. When combined with the Clausius - Clapeyron equation, they produce an equation for droplet growth. The resulting expression for the saturation vapour pressure at the droplet surface, including the effects of radiative loss, indicates droplet growth can occur in a slightly sub-saturated environment. This process allows for fog formation with consequent radiation-induced changes in the stability of the entire cloudy layer, even though the environment may never become supersaturated with respect to water on the average. Brown (1980) and Mason (1982) conclude that the importance of the radiation term in the droplet growth equation varies with the concentration of activated cloud condensation nuclei. With high CCN concentrations, the radiative term has little influence on either the mean droplet size or liquid-water content. They suggest this is due to the fact that the resultant more numerous droplets have small values of absorption efficiencies. They conclude that radiative exchange between droplets and their environment will be greatest in clean fogs and maritime layer clouds, and will be less in heavily polluted air.

(b) The Role of Dew

A number of investigators have emphasised the role of dew deposition to the formation of fog. The deposition of dew at the surface is responsible for the development of a downward transport of moisture and the formation of a nocturnal dew-point inversion. Dew-point inversions have been observed to extend to between 40 and 200 m above the surface.

Some of the moisture supplied to dew deposition may come from the underlying soil. Most, however, is extracted from the overlying air mass. Thus, Lala et at. (1975) and Brown & Roach (1976) view dew deposition as a "governor" on fog formation. For a given rate of radiative cooling, which drives .the air toward saturation, if the dew deposition rate and accompanying downward' transport of moisture is large, then fog formation may be inhibited. If the dew deposition at 17

the surface is somewhat less, radiative cooling may be sufficient to initiate the formation of fog.

Pilie et at. (1975) also attribute the observed initial formation of fog aloft to the development of a dew-point inversion as a consequence of dew deposition. However, Jiusto (1980) has noted that many inland radiation fogs first develop at the surface and then build upward. The conditions under which fog formation occurs at the surface versus aloft are not well known.

From the time of fog formation and until sunrise, dew does not appear to serve any major function other than to maintain a saturated lower boundary. After sunrise, however, the surface temperature begins to rise and evaporation of dew commences. As the fog layer warms, a supply of water vapour is needed in order to maintain saturation. Pilie et al. (1975) estimate that the dew evaporation rate is sufficient to allow persistence of a fog for several hours longer than over a dewfree surface. Eventually solar heating causes the saturation vapour pressure to increase above the actual vapour pressure, in spite of the evaporation of dew. This leads to fog dissipation, first at the surface and then propagating upward. Thus originates the term "fog lifting."

(c) The Role of Turbulence

Turbulent transport of heat and moisture plays an important role in the evolution of a fog. However, there is not a consensus as to whether the role of turbulence is primarily constructive, contributing to the formation of fog, or destructive, contributing primarily to the dissipation of fog. Brown & Roach (1976) conclude that turbulence inhibits the formation of radiation fog. They base their conclusion partially on a fog model in which turbulence is modeled with an eddy viscosity closure. They conclude that numerical experiments with model II provide the most realistic results when compared to observations reported by Roach et at. (1976). Brown & Roach also experimented with a stability-dependent exchange 18

coefficient formulation, which was derived using adiabatic similarity theory. As they point out, however, the existence of a constant-flux layer a few meters above the surface is questionable in such a stable environment as a radiation fog.

In a companion paper Roach et at. (1976) infer from observations that turbulence hinders fog formation. They formed this conclusion because lulls in wind were accompanied by maximum cooling, and major lulls were accompanied by periods of significant fog development. Conversely, increases in wind (to> 2 ms1) were associated with fog dispersal. They infer that as the wind speed decreases, turbulent transfer of moisture to the surface to form dew ceases. As a result, the moisture remains in the atmosphere, and as radiation cools the air, fog is formed. Alternately, at higher wind speeds, vertical mixing of drier air may inhibit fog formation.

Jiusto & Lala (1980) infer from observations that if radiative cooling and higher humidities extend to a greater depth, vertical turbulent mixing can contribute positively to the growth of the fog when it occurs in the presence of radiation cooling. Using various surface-layer turbulence exchange formulations, Welch et al. (1986) conclude that increased turbulence and reduced stability contribute to fog formation. They also suggest that fog intensification after sunrise is caused by increased turbulence generation and the resultant downward mixing of liquid in the upper part of the fog to the surface. Lala et al. (1982) suggest that turbulence in the early evening may inhibit fog, whereas later in the evening turbulent mixing can intensify fog.

Lala et al. (1975), Brown & Roach (1976), Zdunkowski & Barr (1972), and Welch et al. (1986) concur that the structure of fog and the occurrence and nonoccurrence of fog are strongly dependent upon the particular profile of eddy viscosity or turbulence models employed. Moreover a more realistic treatment of turbulence is needed, especially in the region beneath the fog top. They suggest 19

that the top of deep fogs may behave somewhat like the ground, not only with respect to radiative processes, but also to turbulent transport. Comparison of more complicated turbulence models with observed fog structure shows that realistic simulations of fog life cycles can be obtained.

(d) The Role of Drop Settling

In cloud models, cloud droplets are as large as 40-50 um in radius. In fogs, only a few droplets exceed 20 m in radius. Nonetheless, Brown & Roach (1976) have concluded that settling of droplets can play an important role in the evolution of fog structure. This reflects the fact that vertical velocities in fogs are quite small, much smaller than in cumulus clouds.

Brown & Roach introduced drop settling into their model because, otherwise, unrealistically high liquid-water contents were predicted. Brown & Roach used the following feedback process to explain the sensitivity of the model to drop settling: the direct removal of liquid water by droplet settling causes a reduction of radiation cooling due to cloud droplets; lower radiation cooling, in turn, leads to a reduction in the rate of condensation and liquid-water contents. In a more detailed microphysical simulation of fog, Brown (1980) found that the simulated fog liquiddwater content was sensitive to CCN concentrations. With lower concentrations of CCN, he found that the fog liquid-water content was about 20% less than with higher CCN concentrations; the difference was attributed to reduced drop settling in the high CCN case.

(e) The Role of Vegetative Cover

Brown & Roach also investigated the role of surface vegetation on the rate of cooling at the surface. They argued that a grass surface will cool to a lower surface temperature than bare ground because of its small thermal capacity. Furthermore, grass will partially shield the soil from radiative loss. Thus, the air 20

over a grass-covered surface will radiate to a colder surface than that of bare soil, and greater cooling of the air will occur.

(f) Advection of Cloud Cover

The advection of a cloud layer over a fog can alter the net divergence of longwave radiation from the top of the fog and thereby lead to an alteration in the fog structure or perhaps even the destruction of the fog. Saunders (1957) noted that a large fraction of fog cases cleared following the arrival of a cloud deck. He also observed a rise in temperature near the ground. Subsequently, Saunders (1961) observed that the net outgoing radiation at fog top decreased substantially compared to a clear sky, depending on the height and temperature of the overlying cloud layer.

The lower the height of the overlying cloud layer, the greater was the reduction in net outgoing longwave radiation. Saunders also concluded that the observed rise in temperature near the ground following the advection of a cloud deck over an overlying fog was a consequence of the reduction of outgoing radiation of the fog top. The temperature rise was also due in part to sustained upward heat flux from the ground.

Because the upward heat flux from the ground is important in dissipating fog, another important controlling factor is the gradient in temperature between the soil and the air. If the soil-air temperature gradient is small, fog clearance is unlikely. If it is large, fog clearance is greatly enhanced when a cloud layer moves over the fog.

6. Traditional Methodology of Fog Forecasting

Some of the traditional methods available for objective forecasting of fog are: (a) Model output statistics (MOS), (b) Persistence (c) Synoptic and (d) 21

Statistical. Model output statistics (MOS) guidance is a mean by which one may attempt to estimate or quantify meso-scale variation with reference to occurrence of fog. Unfortunately, the statistical guidance from the current

operational NWP model has the basic inability to provide adequate information for reliable prediction of fog 6-24 hours in advance (Croft et al., 1997).

Persistence forecast has good chance of success but fails during the transition period of flow pattern. The basic idea of statistical technique development is to quantify the physical relation between the observed weather element of

interest and other meteorological variables. For the purpose of selecting the appropriate statistical techniques to use, predictant weather elements are classified as continuous and categorical. Predictions of occurrence and nonoccurrence of an weather event such as fog are categorical type. Multiple discriminant analysis (MDA) is used for categorical element. Very recently, in the development processes of forecasting visibility for a place Hindon near Delhi, Madan et al., 2000 attempted for objective method applying different approaches such as auto regression, multiple regression, climatology and persistence. In the regression equation they used local meteorological elements such as surface wind, dry bulb and wet bulb temperature and cloud amount as predictors. But the comparison with the realised visibility showed that forecast had larger deviation and the forecast beyond six hours from the initial time are not satisfactory. The model developed by them following climatology persistence method is found to provide better visibility forecast. Mahapatra and TulsiDas (1998) attempted to forecast fog over Bangalore Airport using different objective techniques such as persistence, synoptic, statistical (threshold value based on co-relation coefficients of predictors) and multiple discriminant analysis. comparison purpose they calculated accuracy of different For the

methods. The

comparison indicates that the multiple discriminant analysis method provides a better techniques both in terms of physical principles and statistics for the

fog forecasting. In view of the fact discussed above the method adopted for formulation of the objective method in this study is the multiple discriminating analysis. 22

Impact of fog on city life is larger when the duration of the fog is longer. Using data for the year 1960-1998 of IGI airport Delhi, Singh et al. (1999) documented that there is a clear cut peak around 1430 UTC when visibility deteriorates below 800 meters and visibility improves around 0300 UTC both for January and December.

Fog is measured in terms of the minimum horizontal visibility associated with it. Monthly frequency (Roy Bhowmik et al., 2004) of occurrence of fog (with visibility < 800 meters and < 1000 meters) and associated meteorological conditions over Delhi (Safdarjung airport) during November to February for the year 1997 to 2002 are presented in Tables 1-7. The table 1 shows that the highest frequency of occurrence of fog is during December and January. Where as for November and February the frequency is relatively less. In view of this the present study is restricted for the month of December and January only. Singh et al. (1999) analyzed the climatology and trend of visibility of Delhi based on data for the period 1960 to 1998 of IGI airport. The study sows that duration of fog has increased considerably. The average duration of visibility less than 800 meters as increased from 0.3 hours/day during 1964 -1968 to 8.98 hours/day during 1994-1998 both for the month of December and January.

Table1a Monthly Frequency of Fog over Delhi (1997-2002) with Visibility < 800 meters Year/mont h Nov Dec Jan Feb 1997 16 24 30 10 1998 13 23 14 7 1999 4 25 16 18 2000 10 9 18 8 2001 3 21 19 4 2002 4 17 17 8 Total 50 119 114 55


Table1b Monthly Frequency of Fog over Delhi (1997-2002) Visibility <1000 meters year/month Nov Dec Jan Feb 1997 20 28 31 12 1998 17 23 18 14 1999 8 25 18 20 2000 15 13 21 12 2001 9 24 23 12 2002 13 25 25 13 Total 82 138 136 83

Table-2 Relationship of Wind Speed to the frequency of Occurrence of Fog over Delhi ( data : Dec-Jan 1997-2000 ) Wind Speed in Knot Calm 1-2 3-5 6-10 >10 Total Frequency of Occurrence of fog 24 (92%) 23(82%) 57(67%) 14(58%) 12(50%) 130(69%) Frequency of NonOccurrence of fog 02 05 27 10 12 56 Total Occasion 26 28 84 24 24 186

Table-3 Relationship of Dew point Depression ( T-Td) to the frequency of Occurrence of Fog over Delhi ( data : Dec-Jan 1997-2000 ) Dew point Depression (TTd) 0C 0 1-2 3-4 5-6 >6 Total Frequency of Occurrence of fog 11(92%) 49(83%) 47(68%) 20(65%) 03(20%) 130(69%) Frequency of NonOccurrence of fog 01 10 22 11 12 56 Total Occasion

12 59 69 31 15 186


Table-4 Relationship of Minimum Temperature to the frequency of Occurrence of Fog over Delhi ( data : Dec-Jan 1997-2000 ) Minimum Temperature 0 C 5 6-7 8-9 10-11 >11 Total Frequency of Occurrence of fog 38 (84%) 50(76%) 28(73%) 12(32%) 2(18%) 130(69%) Frequency of Non-Occurrence of fog 07 15 10 15 09 56 Total Occasion

45 65 38 27 11 186

Table-5 Relationship of Dew Point Temperature ( Td) to the frequency of Occurrence of Fog over Delhi ( data : Dec-Jan 1997-2000 ) Dew Point Temperature ( Td) 0C 2 3-4 5-6 7-8 >8 Total Frequency of Occurrence of fog 8 (34%) 13(54%) 30(75%) 42(77%) 37(82%) 130(70%) Frequency of Non-Occurrence of fog 15 11 10 12 08 56 Total Occasion

23 24 40 54 45 186

Table-6 Relationship of Wind Turning to the frequency of Occurrence of Fog over Delhi ( data : Dec-Jan 1997-2000 ) Conditions Frequency of Occurrence of fog 88 (80%) 20(62%) 22(49%) 130(69%) Frequency of Non-Occurrence of fog 21 12 23 56 Total Occasion

Backing Neutral Veering Total

109 32 45 186


Table-7 Relationship of Wind Direction to the frequency of Occurrence of Fog over Delhi ( data : Dec-Jan 1997-2000 ) Dew Point Temperature (Td) 0C Calm 90-31 331-30 271-330 211-270 151-210 91-150 Total Frequency of Occurrence of fog 24 (92%) 30(73%) 27(62%) 37(62%) 07(78%) 06(60 %) 09(64%) 130(70%) Frequency of NonOccurrence of fog 02 11 16 16 02 04 05 56 Total Occasion 26 41 43 43 09 10 14 186

7. Status of the Programme (a) Indian Scenario

IMD has been issuing fog forecasting through its various Airport Met. Offices(AMO) and MC/MO by traditional synoptic methods based upon synoptic and upper air observations. Since 1990s, M.O. Palam started issuing fog outlook once in a day at 1500 UTC daily. The frequency of fog outlook is increased to twice a day since December 1998. Further changes were introduced in December 2003 by issuing fog forecast four times a day at 6 hourly intervals with 12 hours forecast and 24 hours outlook. Due to frequent occurrences of dense fog in January 2003, the fog forecasting procedures were updated again with 6 hours forecast and 12 hours outlook from the winter of December 2003.

Bhushan et al., 2003, Jenamani, 2004, Roy Bhowmik et al., 2004, Singh et al., 1999 etc. have attempted to study various aspects of fog occurrence in December and January for fog at Delhi. But these studies were carried out for selective days when fog occurred for longer durations as by Bhushan et al., 2003 and Singh et al., 1999. Mohaptra and Das(1998) have studied climatological 26

variability in number of days of occurrences of fog and attempted for forecasting whether a day will have fog or no fog by various statistical and composite methods based upon local synoptic observations. Ram and Mohapatra(2008) and Suresh(2007) have studied climatological aspects of fog occurances over Guwahati and Chennai airport respectively. Singh and Kanth (2006) and Singh et. al. (2007) have studied climatological aspects of fog occurrences at other North Indian cities of Delhi, Varanasi, Lucknow, Dlehi and Amritsar, at a single visibility range of below 1000m and used moisture and temperature data to find their forecasting capability. But, no basic micro-climatic study/trend analysis of different fog cliamtological characteristics at different time scale e.g. hourly, daily, monthly etc. on the basis of intensity e.g. fog hours in the day at < 100m, < 500m, < 200m and < 50m using standard longer period homogeneous data set has been carried out till for any station.

Because of the frequent complaints regarding the accuracy of fog forecast, recently M.O. Palam developed an empirical model for fog forecasting.

Currently Empirical Fog Forecasting model for predicting intensity and duration of fog over Delhi International Airport is being used in conjunction with the conventional synoptic method.

The dynamical Fog Forecasting System (FFS) will be a new activity in India.

(b) International scenario

Conventional numerical weather prediction models are not capable in predicting fog near the surface. These models are not specifically designed to simulate mesoscale boundary layer processes, associated with the development of fog. Progress in the operational forecast of fog has been slow all over the globe.

Several works in literature on prediction of ceiling height, low stratus and fog prediction by American and European scientist have been published. The crucial areas where fog prediction was given mostly included airports. These models are 27

in existence for almost 10-15 years now. Most of the work by American scientists is based on development of statistical and diagnostic models for advection fog forecasting. The Meteorological Development Laboratory (MDL), NOAA is currently giving MOS guidance for ceiling height and visibility and low stratus based on NCEP's GFS. MDL has also developed a Fog Monitor which is a decision assistance tool engineered to continuously monitor satellite imagery for fog. It automatically sends alerts when probable fog is detected.

In Europe, a working group on Fog Forecasting - Concerted Action on Science & Technology (COST) - 722 was constituted during November 2001 to May 2007. COST 722 is a European co-operation consisting of consortium of scientists from twenty-two Institutions; fifteen countries and over 150 participating

scientists coordinating their national research on forecasting methods of fog, visibility and low cloud. Different statistical methods like MOS using linear regression, neural network, decision tree method, classification and regression trees were tried and inter-compared.

Fog Forecasting system of Indian Air Force

The Air Force Centre for Numerical Weather Prediction (AFCNWP) developed a decision tree as a tool for prediction of radiation fog along with its intensity and duration by using mesoscale model (MM5). Fig.1 depicts the model domain and configuration Operational NWP runs at the Air Force Centre for Numerical Weather Prediction (AFCNWP) were used to develop and test this study. They have selected following parameters as predictor for predicting Fog (Srivasttava et al., 2009).

COT Index. Crossover Temperature (COT) is the lowest dewpoint temperature during the warmest phase of the day. Concept of COT was selected to incorporate the effect of hydrolapse and ground temperatures beneath the potential fog layer. To account for the cases of shallow fog suitable modification 28

was done to COT to predict the intensity of expected fog. In this study, COT Index was defined as Model Predicted Minimum [Temperature (D day) - COT (D-1 day)]. Plot of COT Index indicated the probable areas of fog and its intensity for next two days.

Dryness Index (DI). Quantitative measurement of dryness near surface is directly proportional to the visibility in the lower troposphere. Hence, hourly variation of dryness at 2m was taken into account by defining Dryness Index (DI) as (100RH2m).

Fog Stability Index (FOG SI). FOG SI has the best positive correlation with visibility and is defined as FOGSI = 2 | Tsfc - T850 | + 2 (Tsfc - TD Where Tsfc is the temperature near the surface, T D
sfc sfc

) + W 850.

is the dew point

temperature near the surface, T850 is the temperature at 850 hPa level and W 850 is the wind speed at 850 hPa level. It accounts for the temperature gradient, the impact of moisture near the surface and the mixing by low levels winds. These factors contribute significantly in predicting radiation fog. Therefore, hourly values of FOG SI were also computed.

Modified Richardson Number (MRi). The real requirement for radiation fog is not lack of wind but lack of turbulence, which can result from various combinations of stability and boundary layer wind speeds. Fog forecasting process involves the use of a quantitative index of boundary layer turbulent mixing called the Modified Richardson Number. Since the vertical moisture profile is not enough when it comes to radiation fog forecasting, the technique had to be supplemented by the Modified Richardson Number (MRi) to cater to turbulence. It is calculated as MRi = (Tb Tsfc )/U2. Where Tb is boundary layer temperature (C), Tsfc is the shelter temperature forecast (C) and U is boundary layer wind speed (knots). Computation of MRi involves the calculation of the boundary layer which indirectly will help in find out the depth of the fog layer. Thus, MR i itself will be the clue to forecast the onset and cessation of fog. 29

Time-Height Profiles. Wind fields and streamlines within the boundary layer and above are useful for determining trajectories, wind speeds, and inferring degree of turbulence. Vertical motion fields within boundary and at 850 and 700 hPa enable the assessment of large-scale subsidence and mixing. Subtle increase in upward motion can often mean the difference between fog or no fog events. Moisture fields, RH, mixing ratio within boundary layer and above overlaid with wind fields allows inference of moisture advection. High moisture in stable boundary layer and dry air aloft are typically present in fog situations. Thus, Time-Height profiles of Relative Humidity (RH), Vertical Velocity and Horizontal Winds were generated for appreciating the changes in the atmosphere leading to formation, growth, maintenance and dissipation of fog. COT Index for the day, hourly DI, FOG SI, MRI, along with vertical velocity at various levels were computed from the operational MM5 runs during the months of December and January for two winter seasons of 2006-07 and 2007-08. They were compared with the reported parameters in the METARs of selected IAF airfields over NW India for the mentioned period. Scatter plots and time series of actual visibility with these indices were made to obtain the threshold values for various ranges of visibility.Three categories of fog were defined as, Dense Fog (Visibilty: Less than 50m), Thick Fog (Visibilty: 50m-500m), and Shallow Fog (Visibilty: 500m-1000m). The corresponding values of the indices were determined for the mentioned categories of fog. Area plot of COT Index was generated for predicting fog on the first and second day of forecast. Hourly values of DI, FOG SI and MRi were used to predict the hourly variation in visibility. The results are tabulated below in Table 8.


Table 8 Index Dense Fog (< 50m) Thick Fog (50m-500m) Shallow Fog (500m1000m) COT Index DI FOG SI MRi < - 02 < 05 < 2.5 - 02 to +/- 00 05 to 10 2.5 to 17.5 +/- 00 to + 02 10 to 25 17.5 to 35 > + 02 > 25 > 35 MRi < 0 be No Fog (>1000m)

MRi > 0 corresponded with Fog Occurrences. Definite threshold values could not determined.

Test and Verification Study. Having obtained threshold values of the indices, two cases of widespread fog activity on 14 & 26 December 2007 and a case of isolated fog activity over NW India on 22 December 2007 were selected to test the results obtained. Using the initial conditions of a day prior, WRF_ARW (Version 2.2) was used in nested domain (27 & 9 km) for NW India for a period of 54 hours. Day2 and Day3 plot of COT Index for area specific prediction and Foggram for location and time specific prediction for all the stations in the second domain were designed and generated.


For location and time specific prediction Fog-grams were generated

for all the stations in the second domain. It comprised of predicted values of COT Index for Day2 and Day3, Time-height profile of Relative Humidity, Vertical Velocity and Horizontal Winds, hourly values of Dryness Index, Fog Stability Index and Modified Richardson Number from 06h to 54h of model simulation. Its verification showed that the hourly predicted values of the indices corresponded well with the reported visibility by the stations from 12h to 36h of model simulation (i.e Day2). From 36h to 54h (i.e. Day3), the indices over-predicted occurrence of fog and lower visibilities. Onset of fog was simulated 3h to 4h prior to its actual time whereas the time of dissipation was fairly accurate. The range of lower visibility during fog and its duration was also predicted reasonably well. 31

Fog-gram of Adampur and Delhi Palam generated by the model, based on initial conditions of 13 December 2007 from GFS NCEP data, are shown in Fig. 2(a&b). The black dotted lines show the predicted duration of fog. The bold red line shows the actual duration of fog and the blue line shows the actual duration of the lowest visibility. Based on the above methodology a decision tree (Fig. 3) was designed as a tool to forecast the probable areas of fog, visibility ranges and its duration. Performance of AFCNWP Fog model is shown in Figs. 4-15

Model: MM5 (Version 3.7.2) Resolution: 27Km Grid Points: 160x160 Microphysics: Simple Ice Cu Parameterisation: Grell PBL Scheme: MRF Atmospheric Radiation: Cloud Multilayer Soil Temperature Model No Shallow Convection

. Fig. 1: Model domain and configuration

Fig.2.a: Adampur : Day1_Cot Index = 0.86

Fig.2.b: Delhi Palam : Day1_Cot Index = -1.5

Fog-gram based on 00Z GFS Initial Conditions of 13 December 2007


Fig.3: Decision Tree to Forecast Radiation Fog


Actual Dry Bulb & Dew Point Temperature, Temperatures at 2 mtrs from Meteogram
10 15 20 25 30
15 20 25
o 10 COT= 10 C

Actual Dry Bulb & Dew Point Temperature, Temperatures at 2 mtrs from Meteogram
0 5

Forecast Min Temp= 8.2oC

5 COT= 09oC 'D-1' Day

ACT VIS(KM) 'D-1' Day


DB Date / Time DP

Date / Time

Fig.4: Hit Case

Forecast Min Temp=12oC

DB 'D' Duration of Fog


DP 0 500 1000


Actual Dry Bulb & Dew Point Temperature, Temperatures at 2 mtrs from Meteogram Vs Actual Hourly Visibiity of Palam (30 Nov 07 & 01 Dec 07) : Miss Case

Actual Dry Bulb & Dew Point Temperature, Temperatures at 2 mtrs from Meteogram Vs Actual Hourly Visibiity of Palam (13 & 14 Dec 07) : Hit Case

Fig.5: Miss Case

Duration of Fog 0 500

M'Gram DB

30Nov07/0100 30Nov07/0200 30Nov07/0300 30Nov07/0400 30Nov07/0500 30Nov07/0600 30Nov07/0700 30Nov07/0800 30Nov07/0900 30Nov07/1000 30Nov07/1100 30Nov07/1200 30Nov07/1300 30Nov07/1400 30Nov07/1500 30Nov07/1600 30Nov07/1700 30Nov07/1800 30Nov07/1900 30Nov07/2000 30Nov07/2100 30Nov07/2200 30Nov07/2300 30Nov07/2400 01Dec07/0100 01Dec07/0200 01Dec07/0300 01Dec07/0400 01Dec07/0500 01Dec07/0600 01Dec07/0700 01Dec07/0800 01Dec07/0900 01Dec07/1000 01Dec07/1100 01Dec07/1200 01Dec07/1300 01Dec07/1400 01Dec07/1500 01Dec07/1600 01Dec07/1700 01Dec07/1800 01Dec07/1900 01Dec07/2000 01Dec07/2100 01Dec07/2200 01Dec07/2300 01Dec07/2400

13Dec07/0100 13Dec07/0200 13Dec07/0300 13Dec07/0400 13Dec07/0500 13Dec07/0600 13Dec07/0700 13Dec07/0800 13Dec07/0900 13Dec07/1000 13Dec07/1100 13Dec07/1200 13Dec07/1300 13Dec07/1400 13Dec07/1500 13Dec07/1600 13Dec07/1700 13Dec07/1800 13Dec07/1900 13Dec07/2000 13Dec07/2100 13Dec07/2200 13Dec07/2300 13Dec07/2400 14Dec07/0100 14Dec07/0200 14Dec07/0300 14Dec07/0400 14Dec07/0500 14Dec07/0600 14Dec07/0700 14Dec07/0800 14Dec07/0900 14Dec07/1000 14Dec07/1100 14Dec07/1200 14Dec07/1300 14Dec07/1400 14Dec07/1500 14Dec07/1600 14Dec07/1700 14Dec07/1800 14Dec07/1900 14Dec07/2000 14Dec07/2100 14Dec07/2200 14Dec07/2300 14Dec07/2400

Actual Visibiity






Actual Visibiity






Actual Dry Bulb & Dew Point Temperature, Temperatures at 2 mtrs from Meteogram

Actual Dry Bulb & Dew Point Temperature, Temperatures at 2 mtrs from Meteogram











COT= 11oC

COT= 07 C

Forecast Min Temp=13.6oC

'D-1' Day


'D-1' Day

Fig.6: False Alarm Case



Date / Time

Date / Time

Forecast Min Temp=11oC






M'Gram DB

Actual Dry Bulb & Dew Point Temperature, Temperatures at 2 mtrs from Meteogram Vs Actual Hourly Visibiity of Palam (01 & 02 Dec 07) : False Alarm Case

Actual Dry Bulb & Dew Point Temperature, Temperatures at 2 mtrs from Meteogram Vs Actual Hourly Visibiity of Palam (28 & 29 Nov 07) : Correct Negative Case

Fig.7: Correct Negative Case

M'Gram DB 0
Actual Visibiity

28Nov07/0100 28Nov07/0200 28Nov07/0300 28Nov07/0400 28Nov07/0500 28Nov07/0600 28Nov07/0700 28Nov07/0800 28Nov07/0900 28Nov07/1000 28Nov07/1100 28Nov07/1200 28Nov07/1300 28Nov07/1400 28Nov07/1500 28Nov07/1600 28Nov07/1700 28Nov07/1800 28Nov07/1900 28Nov07/2000 28Nov07/2100 28Nov07/2200 28Nov07/2300 28Nov07/2400 29Nov07/0100 29Nov07/0200 29Nov07/0300 29Nov07/0400 29Nov07/0500 29Nov07/0600 29Nov07/0700 29Nov07/0800 29Nov07/0900 29Nov07/1000 29Nov07/1100 29Nov07/1200 29Nov07/1300 29Nov07/1400 29Nov07/1500 29Nov07/1600 29Nov07/1700 29Nov07/1800 29Nov07/1900 29Nov07/2000 29Nov07/2100 29Nov07/2200 29Nov07/2300 29Nov07/2400

01Dec07/0100 01Dec07/0200 01Dec07/0300 01Dec07/0400 01Dec07/0500 01Dec07/0600 01Dec07/0700 01Dec07/0800 01Dec07/0900 01Dec07/1000 01Dec07/1100 01Dec07/1200 01Dec07/1300 01Dec07/1400 01Dec07/1500 01Dec07/1600 01Dec07/1700 01Dec07/1800 01Dec07/1900 01Dec07/2000 01Dec07/2100 01Dec07/2200 01Dec07/2300 01Dec07/2400 02Dec07/0100 02Dec07/0200 02Dec07/0300 02Dec07/0400 02Dec07/0500 02Dec07/0600 02Dec07/0700 02Dec07/0800 02Dec07/0900 02Dec07/1000 02Dec07/1100 02Dec07/1200 02Dec07/1300 02Dec07/1400 02Dec07/1500 02Dec07/1600 02Dec07/1700 02Dec07/1800 02Dec07/1900 02Dec07/2000 02Dec07/2100 02Dec07/2200 02Dec07/2300 02Dec07/2400










Actual Visibiity









Actual Visibility (Mtrs)

3500 3000 2500 2000 1500 1000 500 0 0 20 40 FOG SI y = 31.677x + 471.51 VIS Linear (VIS) R = 0.4974



Fig.8: Palam - Scatter Diagram : FOGSI Vs Actual Visibility for Dec 07


Actual Visibility (Mtrs)

4000 3500 3000 2500 2000 1500 1000 500 0 0 20 40 60 FOGSI y = 28.385x - 361.34
VIS Linear (VIS)




R = 0.3262

Fig.9: Hindon - Scatter Diagram : FOGSI Vs Actual Visibility for Dec 07







30 21 20

11 10 06

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3700 3600 3500 3400 3300 3200 3100 3000 2900 2800 2700 2600 2500 2400 2300 2200 2100 2000 1900 1800 1700 1600 1500 1400 1300 1200 1100 1000 900 800 700 600 500 400 300 200 100 0 Hourly Observations VIS FGSI

Fig.10: Time Series of FOGSI & Actual Visibility (Palam) for the Period 08 Nov 07 to 06 Dec 07
110 4200 4100 4000 3900 3800 3700 3600 3500 3400 3300 3200 3100 3000 2900 2800 2700 2600 2500 2400 2300 2200 2100 2000 1900 1800 1700 1600 1500 1400 1300 1200 1100 1000 900 800 700 600 500 400 300 200 100 0





50 49

40 39 35 30
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Hourly Observations VIS FOGSI

Fig.11: Time Series of FOGSI & Actual Visibility (Hindon) for the Period 08 Nov 07 to 06 Dec 07 37

Actual Visibility (Mtrs)



Actual Visibility (Mtrs)



Y = 31.677X + 471.51, R = 0.4974


Visibility in Mtrs




0 1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 21 23 25 27 29 31 33 35 37 39 41 43 45 47 49 51 53 55 57 59 61 63 65 67 69 71 73 Cases

Actual Visibility

Forecast Visibility (All Values)

Fig.12: Delhi Palam: Forecast Vs Actual Visibility for Dec 07


Y = 6.1452X + 620.02, R2 = 0.0784




Visibility in Mtrs







0 1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 21 23 25 27 29 31 33 35 37 39 41 43 45 47 49 51 53 55 57 59 61 63 65 67 69 71 73 Cases

Actual Visibility

Forecast Visibility (<1000m)

Fig. - 13: Delhi Palam: Forecast Vs Actual Visibility for Dec 07



Y = 31.677X + 471.51, R2 = 0.4974


Visibility in Mtrs




0 1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 21 23 25 27 29 31 33 35 37 39 41 43 45 47 49 51 53 55 57 59 61 63 65 67 69 71 73 75 77 79 81 83 85 87 Cases

Actual Visibility

All Values

Fig.14: Delhi Palam: Forecast Vs Actual Visibility for Jan 08


Y = 6.1452X + 620.02, R2 = 0.0784




Visibility in Mtrs







0 1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 21 23 25 27 29 31 33 35 37 39 41 43 45 47 49 51 53 55 57 59 61 63 65 67 69 71 73 75 77 79 81 83 85 87 Cases

Actual Visibility

Forecast Visibility (<1000m)

Fig.15: Delhi Palam: Forecast Vs Actual Visibility for Jan 08


Verification of the results with the observed visibility show that probable areas of fog, visibility ranges and its duration was predicted better for Day2 than Day3. Model prediction can be improved with better simulation of temperatures and moisture parameters. This can be made possible with improved representation of terrain, land use, soil and vegetation parameters in the mesoscale models over the Indian region.

Fog Forecast System at the CSIR Centre for Mathematical Modelling and Computer Simulation (CMMACS), Bangalore
One of the necessary conditions for formation of fog is the presence of the right spectrum of cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) in the atmosphere. For a city like Delhi with large industrial and vehicular pollution loads, it is reasonable to assume that the spectrum of necessary nuclei is always present, and that the formation of fog is essentially controlled by meteorological conditions. The performance of the fog forecast in such a case is thus essentially determined by quality of meteorological forecasts and the model for fog (visibility). CMMACS Fog Forecasting System: Forecast Strategy and Model

Configuration : Dynamical Fields: MM5 Horizontal Resolution: 10 Km Lead of Forecast: 24 Hours Initial Conditions: FNL Data Lateral Boundary Conditions: FNL Number of Vertical Levels: 23

The procedure (Goswami and Tyagi, 2007) involves calibration of model coefficients based on the optimization of model outputs (hourly temperature, dew point temperature and wind speed against observed visibility using training period data sets. In the second phase, hourly visibility forecast of visibility is 40


using hourly model outputs of these three parameters and the model


The model was tested in the real-time mode during winter season of 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 for Delhi and Amritsar. However, the performance was not found encouraging for operational applications. Fig.16 depicts an inter-comparison of predicted hourly visibility against the corresponding hourly observations of 2010 for Delhi.

Predicted visibility

Observed visibility Fig. 16: Illustrating performance of CMMACS Fog Model forecast of 13 January 2010


8. Model Development strategy under this project

Surface temperature, dew point temperature, wind speed and sky condition are the four meteorological parameters which determines the fog condition. Important components for development of a NWP based objective fog forecasting system are: (a) To classify Fog in to three categories namely (i) Dense Fog - when visibility is less than 50 m, (ii) Thick Fog - when visibility is between 50 m to 500 mm, (iii) Shallow Fog - when visibility is between 500 m and 1000 m and (iv) No Fog when visibility is more than 1000 m. (b) To identify threshold value of difference of surface temperature and dew point temperature in clear sky and light wind condition (less than 5 knots) associated with occurrence of different categories of Fog at the respective airports. (c) To configure WRF VAR (with data assimilation) model at 9 km resolution to generate hourly location specific forecasts of above respective airports for the forecast upto 24 hours. (d) To remove systematic bias of the model for hourly forecasts of these parameters based on past results. (e) Use the bias remove hourly forecasts of the difference of surface temperature and dew point, wind speed and corresponding threshold values to predict fog condition. (f) To update the hourly forecast values at 6 hours interval on the basis of synoptic observations. . parameters for the

9. Activities so far taken up


Following activities are completed so far: (a) 20 Airports are identified as shown in Fig 17 (b) Visibility observations for the past 3 winter seasons (December 2005 2007 and January 2006-2008) are to be collected (c) WRF (ARW) model is configured at 9 km resolution (double nesting at 27 km and 9 km resolution) and hourly outputs are generated for

forecast up to 36 hours with initial and boundary conditions from NCEP FNL for past three January and three December months (d) Hourly model outputs of surface temperature, dew point temperature and wind speed for 11 stations are generated for the past three winter seasons. (e) Computation of systematic errors of the model are in progress


Action plan for the future

(a) To Collect hourly observations of temperature, dew point temperature and wind speed from 20 airports for the past 3 December and January months (December 2005 2007 and January 2006-2008) (b) Identify threshold values of (surface temperature surface dew point) and surface wind speed associated with the onset, intensity and duration of different categories of fog for each airport. (c) To test the procedure (using bias corrected hourly WRF model outputs) for December 2009 and January 2008. (d) To Document the performance (e) To implement the method for operational application.


Fig. 17: Proposed 20 stations where fog forecast system shall be implemented


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prediction by multiple