Local Meteorological and Large-Scale Weather Characteristics of Fog over the Grand Casablanca Region, Morocco

Using a fog event approach, the local meteorological and synoptic characteristics of fogs that formed over the Grand Casablanca (GCB) region during a 9-yr period (2001–09) are investigated. A climatological study of fog, with emphasis on the fog temporal variability and spatial distribution, is carried out on the basis of hourly surface meteorological observations at two synoptic stations in the region. The fog events are classified into fog types, using an objective classification algorithm, and are characterized by their duration, intensity, and times of onset and dissipation. In addition, fog events are classified into two distinct categories (isolated and widespread) on the basis of their spatial extent. K-means cluster analysis is applied to the patterns of mean sea level pressure in ERA-Interim reanalyses at 0000 UTC to determine the synoptic circulation types as-sociated with fog occurrence in the GCB region.

Results show that the fog frequency at the inland suburban station is more recurrent than at the coastal urban station. The fog events are predominantly of the advection–radiation type, with a marked tendency of nighttime occurrence during the winter. The spatial distribution analysis points out the localized character of fog and reveals the possibility of different fog types occurring when fog is present near the two stations simultaneously. Furthermore, the interaction between local- and large-scale mechanisms suggests that advective processes associated with sea-breeze circulation during
daytime, followed by radiative processes early in the night, often lead to fog formation over the GCB region.

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