Regional atmospheric circulation patterns driving consecutive fog events in the United Arab Emirates

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Abstract

In this study, the link between the occurrence of consecutive fog days in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the associated synoptic-scale circulation is investigated. This is particularly pertinent, as such a link may provide an important predictive skill for a phenomenon that has a pronounced impact on road and air traffic but is still poorly simulated by numerical models. A cluster analysis of all consecutive fog days from January 1983 to December 2021 indicated that the positive phase of the East Atlantic/Western Russia teleconnection pattern, Eastern Pacific La Nina events, and the circumglobal wavenumber 5 pattern promote the occurrence of multiple fog days in the UAE. The fog's radiative impacts, as estimated from satellite data, revealed that the fog in the UAE is more optically thick than that observed elsewhere. A trend analysis over the period 1983 to 2021 revealed that consecutive fog events have become more frequent and longer-lasting but less intense (i.e., associated with higher values of visibility). The fog's spatial extent over the UAE at its mature stage has also decreased over time. An analysis of the trends in the surface and top of atmosphere (TOA) radiative fluxes indicated that over the period 2000–2021, the fog clouds have likely become less reflective, with a statistically significant decrease in the surface downward shortwave and TOA upward longwave radiation fluxes. Long-term measurements of fog microphysics in the region are needed to better understand the variability in the properties of the fog cloud droplets.

Original languageBritish English
Article number106506
JournalAtmospheric Research
Volume282
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2023

Keywords

  • Atmospheric circulation
  • Boreal winter
  • Fog
  • Radiative impact
  • Teleconnections
  • Trends

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