Dutch fog: On the observed spatio-temporal variability of fog in the Netherlands

Jonathan G. Izett*, Bas J.H. van de Wiel, Peter Baas, J.A. van Hooft, Ruben B. Schulte

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The Netherlands is characterized by highly variable land use within a small area, and a strong influence of the North Sea on national climate. Devoid of significant topography, it is an excellent location for assessing the relative influence of various factors on fog occurrence in the absence of terrain effects. Using observations from a dense network of weather stations throughout the country, the climatology of fog in the Netherlands is assessed over a period of 45 years. On a national scale, interannual variability is linked to changes in synoptic pressure-gradient forcing. Within the country, a comprehensive in-depth analysis of regional differences between fog occurrence is made, together with an assessment of local physical factors which could bias fog formation in one location over another. Regional variability is shown to be strongly related to the mesoscale influences of urbanization and the North Sea. In fact, some locations experience over twice as much fog as others. From this finding, a simple index is presented, which combines the water and urban fraction surrounding a station. This “Regionally Weighted Index” (RWI) is able to accurately sort the stations according to their relative fogginess. Its practical use is encouraged for assessing a given site's climatological favourability, even when in situ meteorological observations are unavailable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2817-2834
JournalQuarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society
Issue number723
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019


  • climatology
  • fog
  • land use
  • regional variability
  • weather


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