Monday, 21 November 2011

The Fog Myth


The fog which descended over parts of London and persisted through much of Sunday helped to fuel the myth that London is a foggy city. Certainly the pea-soupers that plagued the Capital in the past justifiably gave the city a bad reputation. The polluted fog of early December 1952 was probably responsible for over 4000 deaths in Greater London and this eventually led to the Clean Air Act of 1956 and a decline in the instances of choking fogs. Nowadays, the heat island of London helps to reduce the number of 'natural' fogs and the few fogs that do occur are usually confined to, or are at their worse in, low-lying suburban areas of London. The statistics for Morden show that since 1988 November, on average, has been the foggiest month. However, a day with fog (defined as a day when visibility is below 1000 metres at 0900 UTC) has only occurred on 19 occasions, and the highest number of foggy days in any month has only been 4. Thus the 'foggy London' tag has well and truly been laid to rest.

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