FAQ - Fog forecast
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There are basically two steps we take to make the fog forecasts.
- We first run a computer weather model to predict the coverage of fog (and all other atmospheric weather phenomena). This weather model is a computer program developed at Penn State University and is called MM5 (Mesoscale Model 5). http://www.mmm.ucar.edu/mm5-home.html. The program is built specifically to predict small scale (mesoscale) weather patterns like fog, thunderstorms, sea breezes, and many others.
- We then use a program called Vis5d (developed at the University of Wisconsin I believe by Bill Hibbard). This program is a 5 dimensional (length, width, height, time, weather variable (in this case clouds)) visualization tool. This is the program that actually produces the fog "blobs". http://www.ssec.wisc.edu/~billh/vis5d.html
After processing the data through vis5d, we send it to sfgate.com. They then supply the basemap. This could be done with vis5d too, but changing basemaps in vis5d is difficult.