Frequent occurrence of fog in different parts of northern India is common during the winter months of December and January. Low visibility conditions due to fog disrupt normal public life. Visibility conditions heavily affect both surface and air transport. A number of flights are either diverted or cancelled every year during the winter season due to low visibility conditions, experienced at differentairports of north India. Thus, fog and visibility forecasts over plains of north India become very important during winter months. This study aims to understand the ability of a NWP model (NCMRWF, Unified Model, NCUM) with a diagnostic visibility scheme to forecast visibility over plains of north India. Thepresent study verifies visibility forecasts obtained from NCUM against the INSAT-3D fog images and visibility observations from the METAR reports of different stations in the plains of north India. The study shows that the visibility forecast obtained from NCUM can provide reasonably good indication ofthe spatial extent of fog in advance of one day. The fog intensity is also predicted fairly well. The study also verifies the simple diagnostic model for fog which is driven by NWP model forecast of surface relative humidity and wind speed. The performance of NWP model forecast of visibility is found comparable tothat from simple fog model driven by NWP forecast of relative humidity and wind speed.
Volume 129, 2020
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