Many foggy days in Noorvik during the fall of 2017.
Jake Wells writes:
It has been a very interesting fall 2017 as we had experienced a lot of foggy conditions and days. I wanted to see if their was a correlation between the loss of ocean and sea ice of the Arctic Ocean, Chukchi Sea and the Kotzebue Sound which is or causing some type of albedo affect or occurrences that is the cause. As we lose more winter ice and the warming of the ocean and seas will we be experiencing more fog and snowfall?
National Weather Service Consult: Rick Thoman, Climate Science and Services Manager, writes:
"Warmer ocean temperatures and a shorter ice season, over the long term, expected to lead to an increase average snowfall in northwest Alaska. Open ocean provides source of moisture (through evaporation) to the atmosphere. When combined with the necessary atmospheric conditions (a way to lift the moist air), the result will be more precipitation. There will of course continue to be large year to year variations. Fog is more difficult to project in the future. Large areas of open water in the autumn could lead to less coastal fog (due to the comparatively warm low level air) but increased fog inland (due to colder low level temperatures)."
According to the Weather Underground Weather Almanac, Noorvik experienced 22 days of fog between August 1 and November 30, 2017. During the same period in 2016, Noorvik experienced 13 days of fog, and experienced 25 days in 2015. LEO observers from Anchorage and Anvik also reported foggy conditions in the fall of 2017, due to increased near-ground moisture from a mild October and the delayed freeze-up of lakes and rivers.
This observation has been shared with the National Weather Service.
There are several types of fog: Radiation Fog forms when all solar energy exits the earth and allows the temperature to meet up with the dew point. Precipitation Fog forms when rain is falling through cold air. Advection Fog forms from surface contact of horizontal winds. Steam Fog can be seen on any lake. Upslope Fog forms as sinking air warms and rising air to cools. Freezing fog occurs with a temperature at or below freezing. When composed of ice crystals, it is called Ice Fog. This type of fog is only seen in the polar and Arctic regions. Source: [NOAA]
In 2013, researchers from the University of Amsterdam explored trends in arctic fog. They asked "whether melt season fog frequency and timing has changed in coastal regions around the Greenland Sea over the past 50-70 years" already knowing that "breakup of sea ice causes advection and steam fog, which can be persistent over oceans and coasts but diminishes inland. Arctic warming has increased summer sea ice decline and open water exposure, affecting heat and moisture fluxes and therefore cloud formation." Through their research, they found that "occurrence of Arctic sea fog coincides with the glacier ablation season and peaks in July/August." Read their complete project abstract.
Photo of snow, winter, bird, fog, mist, ice, weather, haze, arctic, snow, tree, blizzard, fog, alsace, champdufeu, atmospheric phenomenon, winter storm