Spatiotemporal dynamics of fog and low clouds in the Namib unveiled with ground and space-based observations

Publication Year:

Fog is an essential component of Namib-region ecosystems. Current knowledge on Namib-region fog patterns and processes is limited by a lack of coherent observations in space and time. In this study, data from multiple satellite platforms and station measurements paint a coherent picture of the spatiotemporal dynamics of fog and low cloud (FLC) distribution. It is found that observed seasonal patterns derived from satellite observations differ from station measurements in coastal locations, whereas they agree further inland. This is linked to an observed seasonal cycle in the vertical structure of FLC that determines 5 the probability of low-level clouds touching the ground. For the first time, these observations are complemented by spatially coherent statistics concerning the diurnal cycle of FLC using geostationary satellite data. The average timing of the start of the diurnal FLC cycle is found to strongly depend on the distance to the coastline (r ≈ 0.85 north of 25 • N), a clear indication of dominant advective processes. In the central Namib, FLC typically occurs 2-4 hours later than in other coastal regions, possibly due to local advection patterns. The findings lead to a new conceptual model of the spatiotemporal dynamics of fog 10 and low clouds in the Namib.

Publication Title:

Atmospheric Chemistry and Physic

Item Type:
Journal Article

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