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Advances in Meteorology
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 1276784, 16 pages
https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/1276784
Research Article

Numerical Simulations of Fog Events in Southern Portugal

1Instituto de Ciências da Terra, Polo de Évora, Universidade de Évora, Évora, Portugal
2Instituto de Ciências da Terra, Polo de Évora, Departamento de Física, Escola de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade de Évora, Évora, Portugal

Correspondence should be addressed to Carlos Policarpo

Received 3 June 2016; Revised 30 August 2016; Accepted 5 October 2016; Published 5 January 2017

Academic Editor: Panagiotis Nastos

Copyright © 2017 Carlos Policarpo et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

This work aims at improving the knowledge on fog formation and its evolution in the Alentejo region (Portugal). For this purpose, brief regional fog climatology, essentially based on information from the Beja Air Base meteorological station, was produced and several numerical high resolution simulations were performed using the Meso-NH. The ECOCLIMAP database used to generate the model physiography was improved to include the Alqueva reservoir (~250 km2), filled in 2003. The model results were compared with surface and satellite observations, showing good agreement in terms of fog occurrence and persistence. Various forcing mechanisms for formation, development, and dissipation of fog were identified, confirming the influence of two small mountains that block the moist air from the Atlantic Ocean, preventing the fog from reaching innermost regions. The introduction of the Alqueva large reservoir induces changes in the landscape and environment. The effects of the water vapour addition and of the changes in mass and energy surface fluxes on fog formation and evolution were studied. It was found that the reservoir may have a direct impact on fog formation over the lake and its vicinity. Depending on the large scale meteorological conditions, their influence can be both positive and negative, in terms of spatial coverage and temporal persistence.