The fog occurs frequently over the Yellow Sea in spring (April–May), a climatical period of Asian monsoon transition. A comprehensive survey of the characteristic weather pattern and the air-sea condition is provided associated with the fog for the period of 1960–2006. The sea fog is categorized by airflow pathways of backward trajectory cluster analysis with the surface observations derived from international comprehensive ocean-atmosphere dataset (I_COADS) I_COADS datasets and contemporaneous wind fields from the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP)/National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) reanalysis. On the basis of the airflow paths, the large-scale lower-tropospheric circulation patterns and the associated surface divergence, the distribution of a vertical humidity, the horizontal water vapor transportation and the air-sea temperature difference are investigated and the major findings are summarized as follows. (1) Four primary clusters of the airflow paths that lead to spring sea fog formation are identified. They are originated from the northwest, east, southeast and southwest of the Yellow Sea, respectively. (2) Springtime Yellow Sea fog occurs under two typical weather patterns: the Yellow Sea high (YSH) and cyclone and anticyclone couplet (CAC). Each pattern appears by about equal chance in April but the YSH occurrence drops to around one third and the CAC rises to around two third of chance in May. (3) The common feature in the two types of synoptic conditions is that surface divergence center is located over the Yellow Sea. (4) For the YSH type of fog, water vapor comes mainly from local evaporation with a well-defined dry layer present in the lower atmosphere; for the CAC type of fog, however, water vapor comes mainly from areas outside the Yellow Sea with a thick surface layer of high humidity. (5) With the differences in weather patterns and its associated vertical distribution of the humidity and the transportation of water vapor, there are two types of sea fogs. Most fogs of the CAC types are " warm” fog, while fogs of YSH type have nearly equal chance to be " warm” and " cold” fog.
Jian HUANG, Bin WANG, Xin WANG, Fei HUANG, Weihua LÜ, Jing Tu. The spring Yellow Sea fog: synoptic and air–sea characteristics associated with different airflow paths[J]. ACTA OCEANOLOGICA SINICA, 2018, 37(1): 20-29. doi: 10.1007/s13131-018-1155-y.