What is it about?

Nocturnal fog represents a regular feature in the Central Namib, a hyperarid desert in Namibia. It alleviates the water scarcity in the area for the ecosystem. Historically, fog days have been recorded, but regular quantification of fog water input only began in the last few years. We conducted an intensive observation period to focus on the drivers as well as the spatial and temporal dynamics of the fog which are not fully understood. Our paper gives an overview of the conducted measurements including the example of a typical fog event.

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Why is it important?

During our intensive observation period, we measured vertical profiles of meteorological variables in the fog at various locations, yielding high-quality day in an area that is scarcely sampled. Additional, we employed different methods to quantify the water input of fog, a measure that yields crucial insight into this fascinating ecosystem. These data will hopefully help to tune, validate and improve remote sensing approaches and forecast/climate model performance for the larger Namib area. Finally, they enhance the quality of the long-running FogNet measurement network by investigating relevant transport processes and the considerable variation in the fog.

Perspectives

The Namib is a very dry desert where years can go by without any ran. Yet the frequent fog, eerily dissolving in the morning hours, is a striking contrast and has led to fascinating strategies of the flora and fauna in the area; "The desert is alive" after all. The quantification of fog, understanding the driving processes and capturing the spatial and temporal variation are still elusive goals and present an immensely interesting challenge.

Robert Spirig

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Probing the fog life-cycles in the Namib desert, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, August 2019, American Meteorological Society, DOI: 10.1175/bams-d-18-0142.1.
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