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Impact of Natural and Anthropogenic Factors on Fog Frequency and Variability in Kraków, Poland in the Years 1966–2015

Category: Others

Article In Press
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2016.12.0580
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Anita Bokwa 1, Agnieszka Wypych1, Monika J. Hajto1,2

  • 1 Department of Climatology, Institute of Geography and Spatial Management, Jagiellonian University, 30-387 Kraków, Poland
  • 2 Institute of Meteorology and Water Management – National Research Institute, 30-215 Kraków, Poland

Highlights

Number of days with fog in Kraków decreased by 60% in 1966–2015.
Fog frequency was controlled mainly by air pollution concentration.
After 1989, role of factors related to atmospheric circulation has increased.


Abstract

The aim of the study was to determine the long term variability of fog occurrence in Kraków in the light of the changeability of fog favoring factors. The annual number of days with several fog characteristics was studied for the period 1966–2015, using data from two meteorological stations located in the city center and in the suburbs. For all these data series on fog, a strong decrease was observed in the study period, i.e., the number of days with fog decreased on average by about 60%, with the tendency being more distinct in the city center. Fog favoring conditions were determined by atmospheric circulation, wind speed, relative humidity, urban heat island (UHI) and air pollution and correlated with data on fog. Results statistically significant at p < 0.01 show that the relationship is the strongest between fog frequency and air pollution. However, as the air pollution levels decreased, especially after the change of political and economic system in 1989, environmental factors became decisive in controlling fog occurrence. Although the role of atmospheric circulation in fog formation is unquestionable, fog favoring circulation types (Sa, SWa, Ca, Ka) show no meaningful tendency and no significant correlation with long-term fog occurrence frequency. Therefore, decreasing trends in days with low wind speed and in days with relative humidity RH ≥ 80% and RH ≥ 95% are considered as additional factors which contributed to the observed fog frequency decrease. UHI showed no impact on fog frequency as in Kraków relief modified UHI (RMUHI) is observed and no significant changes in the part of UHI defined for the lowest part of the city were observed.

Keywords

Fog Air pollution Atmospheric circulation Relief modified urban heat island


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