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Widespread fog over the Indo-Gangetic Plains and possible links to boreal winter teleconnections

  • Dipti HingmireEmail author
  • Ramesh K. Vellore
  • R. Krishnan
  • N. V. Ashtikar
  • Bhupendra B. Singh
  • Sudhir Sabade
  • R. K. Madhura
Article

Abstract

Boreal wintertime planetary-scale atmospheric circulations and their possible consequences to widespread fog occurrences over the Indo-Gangetic Plains (IGP) region of the Himalayan valley are investigated in this study. Among the different fog types, radiation fog type seen at night or early morning hours favored by large-scale subsidence aloft and strong near-surface inversion is focused in this study. A composite analysis reveals that upper air circulation associated with 105 fog days over the IGP region show a trail linked to circulation anomalies over the Eurasian continents and the Arctic Circle. The findings suggest that there is a footprint of the Arctic Oscillation (AO) and conventional Eurasian (EU) circulation patterns linked to anticyclonic circulation aloft over the IGP region. Although widespread IGP fog occurrences under the large-scale subsidence environment are seen to occur during both phases of AO, the negative AO phase (high pressure environment over the Arctic Circle) portends a greater likelihood for fog occurrences in the IGP region. A coupling of positive mid-tropospheric height anomalies over western Eurasia and the anticyclonic circulation anomalies over the IGP region is evident during the IGP fog periods concomitant with EU positive (height excess over Siberia) phase. Further, anomalous circulation over the IGP region during the fog periods appears to rely more on the strength of the AO negative phase than the circulation strengths over Eurasia. On the contrary, the Eurasian circulation largely appears to influence the subsidence aloft over the IGP region irrespective of the strength of the AO positive phase. It is also noted that upper-air circulation during non-foggy periods over the IGP region has conformity with positive AO phase and rapidly progressing EU pattern. These planetary-scale teleconnection pathways offer new dynamical insights into comprehending widespread IGP fog scenario, which have been hitherto perceived mostly from a regional context.

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors acknowledge Director, Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) for encouraging this work. Datasets obtained from the ECMWF server and from the archives of the Climate Prediction Center are acknowledged. This work is carried out as part of the first author’s doctoral dissertation. We thank the anonymous reviewers for their constructive suggestions and comments.

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Climate Change ResearchIndian Institute of Tropical MeteorologyPuneIndia
  2. 2.Department of Atmospheric and Space SciencesSavitribai Phule Pune UniversityPuneIndia
  3. 3.National Data CentreIndia Meteorological DepartmentPuneIndia
  4. 4.Department of PhysicsModern College of Arts, Sciences and CommercePuneIndia

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