EGU General Assembly 2020
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the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Evaluation of local weather observations as predictors of fog and low-level stratiform clouds at the airport of Odessa

Inna Khomenko and Oleksii Hustenko
Inna Khomenko and Oleksii Hustenko
  • Odessa State Environmental University, Hydrometeorological institute, Department of Meteorology and Climatology, Odessa, Ukraine (

Fog that limit visibility and low-level stratiform clouds represent a significant hazard to aviation especially during takeoff and landing, and also low-level flying of aircrafts, because accidents often occur in reduced visibility conditions and low clouds. Therefore, forecasting fog and low ceilings is one of the most important, but at the same time the most difficult issue, because both phenomena strongly depend on local conditions and unsteady in both time and space. So weather observations can be used for statistical dependencies of fog/ low-level stratiform cloud characteristics on numerical model outputs.

To study fog and low-level stratiform clouds event characteristics occurring at the airport of Odessa, Ukraine, half hourly observations in the period of 2010-2018 are used. Applying a statistical approach annual, seasonal and diurnal distribution of fog and low stratus and their frequency distribution associated with various meteorological parameters are obtained.

The monthly distributions of low-level stratiform clouds reveal maximum occurrence frequencies in November and January, and fog most frequently occurs in December. No significant diurnal cycle of stratiform cloud occurrence is discovered, as opposed to fog for which the highest frequency is observed in the hours before sunrise, while when the day sets in, frequencies are declining and increasing at night.

Fog and low-level stratiform clouds have the same distribution in duration and the mean event duration is 4.5 h while 55% of the events lasted 2 h or less. The most long-lived fog and stratiform clouds can last about 4 days during the December-January period.

Occurrence of fog and stratiform clouds as function of temperature and relative humidity reveals a close statistical relationship, especially for fog events. More than 33% of all fogs are observed at temperatures of 0°C to 6°C and 96-100% relative humidity, the most frequencies of low-level clouds (13%) occur in the same temperature interval, but at lower values of relative humidity (91-95%).

Regarding fog density 75% of the events have minimum visibility lower than 400 m, which indicates the severity of the problem, because, despite the season and type of fog, they are usually quite intense and dense.

In all seasons of the year, the highest frequency of low-level stratiform clouds is in interval of 3...4 m/s, excluding summer, when most often such cloud is registered at higher speeds. The wind directions associated with low-level stratiform clouds are, as a rule, northern and eastern ones, which meant that forming stratiform clouds is also related to cyclonic activity.

Fogs, on the contrary, most often in all seasons, except winter, are formed at calm, meaning that radiation fogs are the most common type in the Odessa airport. In winter fogs are most commonly associated with northern and easterly winds; in all other seasons the southern wind is the most frequent.

On this basis, a relationship between the weather conditions near the surface and occurrence of fog and low-level stratiform clouds can be found.

How to cite: Khomenko, I. and Hustenko, O.: Evaluation of local weather observations as predictors of fog and low-level stratiform clouds at the airport of Odessa, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-878,, 2019


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