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Jeffrey D. Massey, W. James Steenburgh, Sebastian W. Hoch, and Derek D. Jensen

to the geographical area defined by those soil texture classes. Observations of volumetric soil moisture, which align with the soil moisture analyses, come from the Texas A&M University North American Soil Moisture Database (NASMD; http://soilmoisture.tamu.edu ), which harmonizes and quality controls several in situ soil moisture observing platforms. We considered only stations from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Soil Climate Analysis Network (SCAN; Schaefer et al. 2007 ) and from the

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Feimin Zhang and Zhaoxia Pu

weather prediction (NWP; e.g., Golding 1993 ; Meyer and Rao 1999 ; Gultepe et al. 2016 ; Pu et al. 2016 ; Pu 2017 ). Zhou et al. (2012) evaluated the performance of low visibility/fog predictions over North America using the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) operational forecast models. Results showed that the accuracy of visibility/fog forecasts from these models was poor in comparison to the accuracy of operational precipitation forecasts from the same models. Previous

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Jeffrey D. Massey, W. James Steenburgh, Sebastian W. Hoch, and Jason C. Knievel

area defined as playa. The soil-texture class is defined by a 16-category U.S. Geological Survey dataset, which is also modified to include playa, white sand, and lava soil-texture classes. Initial soil-moisture and soil-temperature fields at 5-, 25-, 70-, and 150-cm depths are obtained from a relatively coarse 1.0° Global Forecasting System (GFS) analysis because anecdotal evidence suggests that under some circumstances it outperforms the 12-km North American Model (NAM) analysis at DPG. These

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