Monday, January 04, 2010

I hav'nt the Foggiest why ??

Ok, so winter's setting in, and there is fog all over the Northern plains of the sub-continent. So what ?? Is it something unusual? Something new for this part of the world ?? Fog is a yearly phenomena, and occurs year -in -year -out. In fact if there is no fog, it would become a "Global Warming "winter !!

And why all these mishaps and delays ?? Fog is an age old occurance, not only for Northern India, but all over the world. Planes/trains operate in zero visibility in most of the major airports and cities of the world. All important internatinal airports have special landing instruments, now working automatically to aid smooth landings and take offs. In fact, many airports in Europe and the US have a zero visibility factor from a height of 3000ft. right down to ground level. That is, there is absolutely zero visibility, yes zero, for the pilot from 3000ft high (when inside a cloud), right upto the ground touch down, thru a ground hugging fog (only felt with a mild "thud.)". In simple terms, a passenger inside the aircraft sees nothing, maybe not even the tip of the wings, outside, from ,say, 30 minutes prior to landing, till he physically emerges outside the plane.

So,our airports and railways are not "major" or "important" enough to be operational in severe situations, weatherwise. I do not believe we Indians are not capable of overcoming this fog phenomena. I am no expert on aviation and navigation science, but I don't think its that difficult to handle this situation today.

What's the point of issueing "Fog Bulletins" ?? We do not have the basics to overcome this annual occurance.

What we have is "Advection Fog", which is normally predictable. Advection fog is a type of fog caused by the horizontal movement of moist air over a cold surface and the cooling of that air to below its dew point. now, this, any meteorologist could foresee, as conditions were gradually building up from mid December. With a steady fall in night temperatures,and moisture feeding from W.D.s and the recent inflow of moisture from the Arabian Sea had helped the fogging conditions.

Two generations ago, a mishap or chaos would have been excused. Fog in the north was a challenging phenomena then. But, the challenge is still on after 50 years. And not one, not a single winter passes without fog. Every year there was chance to experiment and to finding solutions and improve upon and overcome the situation gradually, year by year.

Forget it. Lets not moan about this fogging. Its going to come year after year, and its going to chill and freeze the north too.

Like today, the days in Punjab, Haryana, Delhi and parts of Rajasthan and UP were around 13-15c. Almost 7-9c below normal. The image from Cologne Univ. gives a clear picture of the cold.

We here are trying to cope with the foggy conditions, as the plains of the Northern regions are "blue" with temperatures around 0-3c.

But whats happening elsewhere. Is it Global Warming all around ?? With major cities facing severe freezing at -10c to -17c, like Moscow and Chicago were -18c on Sunday, New York -8c, and London touched -6c, its a harsh winter.

Read a good write about this up on Mark's blog here.


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