Classification of summertime West Coast fog and stratus events and the development of fog and stratus forecast techniques
Ireton, Greg S.
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The fog and stratus that frequently plagues the West Coast in the summer months is responsible for a variety of impacts on everyday life, the greatest impact on aviation. Many flight delays and cancellations that are experienced around the Pacific Rim are attributed to the development and evolution of the fog and stratus on the U.S. West Coast. This thesis studies the evolution of the fog and stratus events during the summer of 2000 through the use of geostationary, GOES-10, visual satellite imagery to develop a classification scheme. The synoptic-scale weather patterns as well as the mesoscale coastal regime were then associated with a type of stratus evolution. The Navygass mesoscale model, coupled ocean/atmosphere mesoscale prediction system (COAMPS), provided detailed simulation of 11 events to highlight the boundary layer evolution and its relationship to fog and stratus evolution. The fog and stratus classification scheme produced several consistent synoptic and mesoscale signals associated with stratus evolution. These relationships provide some forecasting techniques that should aid forecasters with predicting the evolution of fog and status events.
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