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RALPH K. ANDERSON

March 1969205UDC 551.515.83: 551. 575. 11 (7!34) PICTURE OF THE MONTHClearing of Winter Fog in the Central Valley of California RALPH K. ANDERSONNational Environmental Satellite Center, ESSA, Washington, D.C.The two satellite views presented here show the de-crease in valley fog which took place between Jan. 7 and8, 1969, as a front passed southward across California.The wintertime radiation fogs that form in the CentralValley of California often become quite deep and persistfor many

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Bradley M. Muller, Christopher G. Herbster, and Frederick R. Mosher

conditions at the surface and 850 hPa at 1200 UTC 12 September 2006 are shown in Fig. 4 . The prevailing surface airflow over the ocean as reported by buoy stations is climatologically typical [i.e., northwesterly at around 5 m s −1 (10 kt)]. Several stations in the vicinity of the south-central California coast were reporting fog or mist. At 850 hPa there was a west–east-oriented ridge of high pressure north of the Grover Beach area resulting in offshore (easterly) flow above the boundary layer over

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March 1%7MONTHLY WEATHER REVIEW 153PICTURE OF THE MONTHRadiation fog in valleys is easily identified in satellite Shaded areas on the topographic map in figure 2 corre-photographs by its unique appearance. The upper spond to the three major regions indicated by R on thesurface appears uniformly white and smooth in texture. satellite PhotograPh- At the time these data WereThe periphery of the overcast usually is quite well defined. acquired a large surface High dominated the southwesternFog

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ofTIROS I.The surface synoptic analysis for 1200 GMT, April I,showed a moderately large anticyclone (1034 mb.) centeredover the North Sea, accompanied by generally light winds.Fog and low stratus cover nearly all of the North Seabut very little of the adjacent land areas. The stratusextends northward into the Norwegian Sea and westwardand southwestward to the British Isles. At the left ofthe picture, toward the horizon, a portion of the east coastof Britain is delineated rather well by the fog

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WALTER A. LYONS and STEVEN R. PEASE

leeshores of all the Great Lakes. But most interesting wasthe view from the ILpwincll shoreline (fig. 1). During bothdays, one could see the typical shallow, dense stearn fognear the lake surface (water temperature 33'F) and thecumulus clouds building a few miles offshore. What wasunusual were the numerous distinct fingers or columns ofvapor swirling out of the steam fog layer directly into theoverlying cumulus clouds. It is estimated t,hat they wereMarch 1972 1 235FIGURE 2.--\'iew from 4,000 ft, ahovr

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FRANCES C. PARMENTER

increased vertical motion located ahead ofthe vorticity maximum is reflected in the brighter cloudsin eastern Tennessee. This "lumpy" appearance is also dueto the sun highlighting the altostratus clouds which, inturn, cast shadows on the lower fog and stratus layer tothe west. Surface reports indicate light and moderate rainin this area. A 6-hr accumulation of 0.68 in. was reportedat Chattanooga just southeast of (L).By 0000 GMT, February 3, the surface pressures weredropping rapidly. By 0600 GMT, the

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FRANCES C. PARMENTER

sea-surface temperature, strength of any inversion, theare best defined at the 200-mb level. They can exist as a moisture content, and stability.shear line, or they may contain a series of well-developed In the eastern North Pacific, a cold sea surface and lowvortices. The cloud amount, distribution, and organization tropospheric inversion result in extensive areas of lowassociated with such an upper level trough depend on the thin fog, stratus, or stratocumulus. Upper level vorticesFIQURE 1

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FRANCES C. PARMENTER

, reflects thepresence of a secondary vorticity center associated wit,hthis system.An early morning APT ( automatic picture transmission)view of this area showed low fog and stratus throughoutthe Gulf States. By the time of these ESSA 9 satellitepictures, heating had cleared the stratus; and a large areaof fair-weather cumulus had formed. The northern edge ofthis cumulus field (C-D) lies along the edge of the lowestelevations of the Coastal Plain. Immediately west andparallel to this cumulus field is a

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FRANCES C. PARMENTER

southwest quadrant of a surface High. The resulting April 24, and smoke and fog continued to be observed oversoutherly flow carried the smoke from Mexico northward the peninsula the front moved southward*across the Gulf of Mexico and, on some days, as far north On 26, another fronta1 system moved into theas New Orleans, La. During the late afternoon and early Gulf States and subsequently moved eastward, ~ff~hore-evening, local onshore winds often carried the smoke back Once again an

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FRANCES C. PARMENTER

marked by an area of bright multi-layered or convective clouds. Instead, warm moist airfrom the Gulf of Mexico, combined with the advancingcold air, has produced an area of fog, stratus, and lightrain along a portion of the front that stretches fromKentucky to the "boot heel" of Missouri. The tops of thefog and low clouds in this area are warm and relativelydark.Fog and stratus, both behind and ahead of the front,@ to 0, also cover parts of Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri,and Arkansas. The edge of the low

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