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The effect of fog on atmospheric electric fields

Miller, C., Nicoll, K., Westbrook, C. and Harrison, G. ORCID: (2023) The effect of fog on atmospheric electric fields. Journal of Physics: Conference Series. ISSN 1742-6588 (In Press)

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Naturally occurring electric fields exist in the atmosphere as part of the global electric circuit. These fields are produced by global phenomena, but they are strongly modified by local conditions. One such local effect is fog, which is the reduction in visibility by droplets suspended in the air. For over a century, it has been known that fog can often result in larger values of electric field compared to that in clear air conditions. However, the physical processes controlling the electric field and its variability in fog are still not fully understood. More detailed information on this is required to assess whether electric field measurements can be used as a fog prediction method, which was suggested many decades ago but is still an open question. Furthermore, improving the understanding of electrical processes in fog will also help in related areas of research such as cloud electrification processes and the impact of charge on the behaviour of aerosol and droplets. This study aims to fully characterise the electric field in fog using an extensive dataset of over 17 years, measured from the University of Reading Atmospheric Observatory, UK. This encompasses electric field, visibility, and meteorological data from over a hundred fog events, which allows us to examine the behaviour of electric fields in fog conditions statistically, rather than only focusing on individual case studies as is often the case in the literature. The long series of data from the site allows the variability in the electrical data during fog events to be more fully characterised than previously.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:113362
Publisher:Institute of Physics

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