A synthesis of the elements of random-ship synoptic reports to derive climatological marine-fog frequencies.
Englebretson, Ronald Earl.
Renard, Robert J.
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Published climatologies of marine-fog frequencies are in disagreement for common areas, although the nature and magnitude of errors are difficult to assess since actual frequencies for specific locations may be derived only from observations at Ocean Stations. The usual methods of computing fog frequencies, on a seasonal or monthly basis, are percent-of-reports-with-fog and number-of-fog-days. This study presents a method of synthesizing the elements of surface-ship synoptic reports into a computerized scheme for the purpose of deriving frequencies of marine fog occurrence. The program, based on a liberal interpretation of reporting guidelines in the Synoptic Code Manual, utilizes 16 combinations of present and past weather, and visibility, to identify fog in the reports. The program then objectively assigns the duration of fog for the three- or six-hour period represented by the synoptic report. A prototype climatology of marine-fog occurrence for July, over the eastern North Pacific Ocean, is derived from application of the method to a ten-year data base (1963-72). Results are compared to published and other defined marine-fog climatologies.
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