Thursday, August 25, 2005

Geog 316 journal - The Fog and The Drought

So there was some talk in the first meeting about fog and fog dynamics and I couldn't help but start to think about what a cool summer it's been on the coast. I regularly check the NRL satellite for fog at the coast and this summer seems the coast seems to have had more foggy days that "normal" (n=15yrs of amatuer observations). Now this is just a feeling, no hard data, but it got me wondering why. Given that bay area fog is generally driven by central valley warming and thus the creation of localized low pressure - (warm air rising in the valley creates a vacuum and thus the marine layer is sucked eastward) - I couldn't help but wonder if the midwestern drought has anything to do with our more than "normal" foggy days at the coast - particularly since they've lasted well into August which is generally clear. My simple thinking is this, the mid and pacific northwest are likely to be warmer than average thus creating this vacuum effect but at a little larger scale than just the bay area / central valley dynamic. Strictly anecdotal science at this point but maybe an idea worth pursuing.

2 comments:

Tim Stroshane said...

Matt,
That's an excellent link to the Naval Research Lab satellite photos. Thanks for including that link. The Monterey Bay photo was highly pixillated; but other images were quite clear.

Regarding midwestern drought, what goes on there is at least as much affected by what's going on in the Arctic as well as the gulf of Mexico, is it not? too bad Katrina couldn't have dropped some of its rain to the west (after losing its oomph making landfall).

Tim

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