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Forecasting Grand Banks Fog: Assessment, Improvement and Application

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    Joel Finnis Memorial University

Frequent, severe fog is a considerable health and safety concern to marine industries operating on the Grand Banks of Newfoundland.

Frequent, severe fog is a considerable health and safety concern to marine industries operating on the Grand Banks of Newfoundland. Forecasting fog remains a challenge, with predictability limited by the complexity of fog processes, sparse marine observations, and the resolution and capability of operational numerical weather prediction (NWP) systems. 

Over the 18 months of the project, a functional, detailed description of Grand Banks fog has been produced, as measured from the Hibernia oil platform.  By interpreting unprocessed marine and aviation reports (3-hours and hourly, respectively), a 15 year record of visibility, fog occurrence, and related meteorological/ocean data has been extracted. This record is suitable for establishing climatology, benchmarking forecast systems, and testing new fog forecasting procedures. The record is being shared with industry partners and will be made available online in the coming year.

Partners:

  • AMEC (regional office)
  • Environment Canada - NLMCM

Investigators:

  • Michael Abbott
  • Elnaz Bodaghkhani Memorial University of Newfoundland
  • Terry Bullock
  • Barbara Neis Memorial University

Methods will be explored to improve fog predictionand those showing the greatest promise will be adapted for operational use at AMEC. Research will identify barriers to forecast use, and inform efforts to increase forecast usage across industry sectors.