Fog and Stratus

60 Minutes

Vesa Nietosvaara
Aulikki Lehkonen

Fog and Stratus

Published: 01 January 2005

Fog and Stratus are seen in satellite images as low-level cloud sheets with a variable horizontal extent. Small local patches of fog are difficult to distinguish in satellite images (size in the order of a few kilometres). However, large areas of fog and stratus can cover areas over hundreds or thousands of square kilometres. Fog (or low Stratus) is formed, when moist air near ground level starts to condensate. This condensation can be produced in the atmosphere by three mechanisms: by ascent and resultant cooling of an air parcel, by radiative heat loss and by the mixing of two parcels of slightly unsaturated air initially having different temperatures. The necessary condition for both the advection and radiation St/Fog formation is a sufficient moisture content in the lowest layers of the atmosphere.

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Filed under Keywords:

Conceptual Models, Synoptic Scale Meteorology, Fog