WEATHER

Project conducted on fog could help to improve future fog forecasts

Dec 28, 2023, 6:00 PM | Updated: Jan 4, 2024, 2:07 pm

Fog seen in Salt Lake City by the capitol on Dec. 18....

Fog seen in Salt Lake City on Monday, Dec. 18. (Adam Small, KSL NewsRadio)

(Adam Small, KSL NewsRadio)

SALT LAKE CITY — A project conducted in 2022 may help Utah and other areas with complex terrains to better forecast fog.

Professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Utah, Zhaoxia Pu, along with her her colleagues conducted The Cold Front Amongst Complex Terrain project.

According to Pu, the goals of the project are to use current technology to observe fog, to understand the process involving fog formation, evolution, and dissipation, and to improve current numerical weather prediction models to better predict fog forecasts.

Pu says that meteorologists have a difficult time predicting fog because of the complexities of fog formation

“Our understanding is limited. In order to accurately forecast fog we should better understand the process that controls fog formation,” said Pu.

One reason it is difficult for meteorologists to see is due to the coarseness of the weather detection programs.

“Because fog is clouds near the ground,” said Pu, ” it requires a high-resolution model to resolve it, so we need models at a very fine scale, which are computationally very expensive. The current models (relatively coarser in resolution) are not capable of resolving the fog processes, and we need to improve the models for better fog prediction.”

Why study fog formation?

The researchers hope that the data collected in this project will help create better computer weather models to use in the future.

Between 1995 and 2004, 13,720 people were killed in fog-related accidents across the U.S. according to Pu and her colleagues.

“Fog is a high-impact weather, which has a strong influence to the aviation, so especially the airplane,” Pu said. “Also, it (influences) ground transportation. Meanwhile, for some of the fog like the, lets say, the persistent fog condition can also harm people’s health condition.”

Project details

To conduct this project, the National Science Foundation granted the project $1.7 million, according to a press release.

The project took place in multiple locations throughout Heber Valley where there was likely to be fog from Jan. 7 to Feb. 23, 2022. During that time, there were two “supersites” put in place at locations where there are frequent fog formations.

According to the research paper, the supersites consisted of  “a wide range of equipment designed to measure variables using both in situ and remote sensing platforms.”

Alexandrea Bonilla contributed to this report.

Related:

 

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Weather

Cars drive on I-80 with a snowy mountain backdrop after snowstorms hit the Wasatch Front throughout...

Adam Small

Overnight storm clearing out but another storm is on the way

The overnight storm that hit northern Utah has mostly cleared however, another storm expected this weekend.

2 days ago

People experiencing homelessness walk in the street near a winter overflow shelter at St. Vincent d...

Peter Johnston

Code blue bill would open emergency beds at 18 degrees

The legislature is considering whether to raise the temperature at which emergency beds open up during code blue alerts. 

3 days ago

Rainy drive...

Adam Small

Rain and snow on its way to the Wasatch Front

Utah will be seeing rain and snow along the Wasatch Front over the next couple of days. Nice weather returns by week's end.

3 days ago

school bus is snowy, cache county school district apologized for not having a snow day...

Jessica Lowell

Cache County School District apologizes for not holding a snow day

The Cache County School District decided to hold a regular school day on Tuesday despite weather conditions. 

8 days ago

Motorists drive in the rain in Millcreek on Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2024....

Adam Small

Utah expected to get more rain and snow this week

An atmospheric river making its way to Utah will bring rain to the valley and snow to the mountains throughout this week.

9 days ago

three skiers on lift shown, snow in utah expected today...

Peter Johnston

Skiers rejoice! A foot of snow is coming to the northern Wasatch Mountains

Brighton, Park City and Solitude will see more than a foot of snow drop today, according to Ski Utah.

13 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Project conducted on fog could help to improve future fog forecasts