Articles | Volume 9, issue 5
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 9, 1541–1549, 2009

Special issue: Advances in Mediterranean meteorology

Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 9, 1541–1549, 2009

  03 Sep 2009

03 Sep 2009

Fog characteristics at the airport of Thessaloniki, Greece

S. N. Stolaki1, S. A. Kazadzis2,3, D. V. Foris4, and Th. S. Karacostas1 S. N. Stolaki et al.
  • 1Department of Meteorology and Climatology, School of Geology, A.U.Th., Greece
  • 2Finnish Meteorological Institute, Climate Change Unit, Finland
  • 3National Observatory of Athens, Institute for Environmental Research and Sustainable Development, Greece
  • 4Meteorological Applications Center, Greek Agricultural Insurance Organization, Greece

Abstract. A statistical approach in order to study fog event characteristics occuring at the airport of Thessaloniki, Northern Greece is presented in this work. To achieve this, the seasonal and diurnal characteristics of fog are investigated using 35 years (1971–2005) of observations of meteorological parameters such as: visibility, air temperature, dew point temperature, air relative humidity, wind vector, precipitation, and cloud base height and coverage. Hourly surface observations of fifteen (15) years (1991–2005) are used to identify fog events induced by various physical mechanisms. Fog events are classified into fog types through the application of objective criteria that are derived upon fog formation processes and under the influence of various physiographic features. The temporal variability of different fog type occurrences are examined and the events are characterized according to their duration and intensity.

The results are somehow affected by regional and local factors. Fog is mainly formed in winter time (~64%) with an enhanced likelihood to appear also in late autumn (19%). The highest frequency of the fog events occurs around sunrise or 1 to 2 h before of it. The mean duration of the events is about 4.5 h. Most of them (75%) are dense (visibility <400 m). The overall fog phenomenon is a combination of various types, such as: advection fog, radiation fog, cloud-base lowering fog and precipitation fog. Advection fog (30%) and radiation fog (29%), which are the most common types, occur predominantly in winter and early spring time. With respect to the former type, it seems that, in many cases, already formed fog is advected from the nearby Anthemountas valley. Moreover, a considerable number of fog events (22%) result from cloud-base lowering, and they frequently occur in late autumn and mid winter.