|Title||Understanding the dissipation of continental fog by analysing the LWP budget using idealized LES and in situ observations|
|Author(s)||Wærsted, Eivind G.; Haeffelin, Martial; Steeneveld, Gert Jan; Dupont, Jean Charles|
|Source||Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society 145 (2018)719. - ISSN 0035-9009 - p. 784 - 804.|
Meteorology and Air Quality
|Publication type||Refereed Article in a scientific journal|
|Keyword(s)||bowen ratio - fog - Fog dissipation - fog-top entrainment - LES|
Physical processes relevant for the dissipation of thick, continental fog after sunrise are studied through observations from the SIRTA observatory and idealized sensitivity studies with the large-eddy simulation model DALES. Observations of 250 fog events over 7 years show that more than half of the fog dissipations after sunrise are transitions to stratus lasting 2 hr or more. From the simulations, we quantify the contribution of each process to the liquid water path (LWP) budget of the fog. Radiative cooling is the main source of LWP, while surface turbulent heat fluxes are the most important process contributing to loss of LWP, followed by the absorption of solar radiation, the mixing with unsaturated air at the fog top and the deposition of cloud droplets. The loss of LWP by surface heat fluxes is very sensitive to the Bowen ratio, which is importantly affected by the availability of liquid water on the surface; in a run without liquid on the surface, fog dissipation occurred 85 min earlier than in the Baseline simulation. The variability of stratification and humidity above fog top is documented by 47 radiosondes and cloud radar. Using DALES, we find that the variability in stratification has an important impact on the entrainment velocity; a three times more rapid fog-top entrainment enables the cloud base to lift from the ground 90 min earlier in weak stratification than in strong stratification in the model. With relatively dry overlying air, the fog evaporates faster than if the air is near saturation, leading to 70 min earlier dissipation in our simulations. Continuous observations of the temperature and humidity profiles of the layer overlying the fog could therefore be useful for understanding and anticipating fog dissipation.