Airport fog

The facts and the project

The occurrence of fog at an airport can disrupt and even stop air traffic. Improving our understanding of the “lifecycle” of the fog, from its formation to its dissipation, is therefore a matter of considerable importance for air safety. This was the subject of the work performed by a team from the Groupe d’Etude de l’Atmosphère Météorologique (CNRS/Météo France) at Roissy Charles de Gaulle airport. The entire airport complex, including all the installations (runways, buildings, etc.) and covering an area 4.5 km by 1.5 km, was modelled to a never before achieved degree of accuracy (1.5 x 1 m), using GENCI’s Curie supercomputer.

The results

Conclusions: Whilst the fog took an average of one hour thirty minutes to completely cover Roissy, this formation was slower in the built-up areas because of the release of heat and the effect of flows and wind around buildings. The results, consistent with instrument-based observations, make it possible to consider the development of an operational fog forecasting model with a resolution of 500 metres…


750 000 core hours on Curie (CEA/TGCC)

Principal Investigator: Thierry Bergot - Groupe d’étude de l’atmosphère météorologique (CNRS/Météo France)