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Characterization and Modeling of Fog in the Mexico Basin

Category: Modelling and forecast of fog

Volume: 18 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 79-90
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2016.12.0548

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Pohema González-Viveros1, Ernesto Caetano2, Fernando García-García 3

  • 1 Programa de Posgrado en Ciencias de la Tierra, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad de México 04510, Mexico
  • 2 Instituto de Geografía, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, , Ciudad de México 04510, Mexico
  • 3 Centro de Ciencias de la Atmósfera, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad de México 04510, Mexico


Fog in the Mexico Basin was characterized according to its meteorological origin.
Most advection and frontal fogs occur respectively during the rainy and dry seasons.
Radiation fog occurrences are less common and more evenly distributed over the year.
Fog simulations were realized using various cloud microphysics and PBL schemes.
The WRF has the ability to simulate fog using the appropriate model configurations.


The character of fog in a region centered at Mexico City International Airport was investigated using 10 years of historical data. Hourly surface observations, synoptic charts, satellite images and twice-a-day radiosondes were used to identify fog events under the influence of various synoptic and mesoscale features. A quantitative assessment on the likelihood of which mechanisms lead to fog formation was obtained. Also, three fog events (radiation, advection and frontal) were simulated with the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model, and the results were compared to observations. The study included a comparison of the skills of different planetary boundary layer (PBL) and microphysical schemes. A sort of generalization cannot easily be applied, but allows one to determine which parameterizations performed better for each case in a high, tropical region. In general, from the model results for liquid water content, the cloud microphysics WSM3 and PBL Yonsei University schemes reproduced advection and frontal fog events quite well, whereas CAM 5.1 and Quasi-Normal Scale Elimination schemes worked better for radiation fog episodes.


Fog types Fog modeling Mexico Basin WRF model

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