Because of the considerable distance between weather observation
stations, important weather phenomena can be present without being
reported. Observation platforms are much more sparse over the oceans,
resulting in more weather hazards being unreported, and thus unknown.
Fog is one of those hazards. However, research in satellite meteorology
has shown that satellite imagery can be useful in detecting fog
in the large areas where there are no observation platforms. The
Fog Monitor is an AWIPS decision assistance tool engineered to continuously
monitor satellite imagery for fog. It automatically alerts the WFO
when probable fog is detected.
The Fog Monitor provides a satellite-image-like display with pixels
colored to indicate whether the location is probably fog-free, maybe
fog-covered, or probably fog-covered. The Fog Monitor also provides
the WFO the ability to customize the thresholds used to recognize
and distinguish fog. This facilitates research by the WFO and allows
to WFO to adapt the Fog Monitor to the season and to its local conditions.