TAMIL NADU

Thick fog over city brings down visibility



Staff Reporter

It slowed down traffic, and delayed several flights by a few hours It slows down road traffic, delays several flights



CHENNAI: Chennai woke up to a blanket of cold fog on Sunday with low visibility slowing down traffic and setting back several domestic and international flights by a few hours.

With the visibility at the airport down to 150 metres, not an ideal condition for a flight to land or take off, flights to Dubai and London, scheduled to take off around 3.30 a.m. and 4 a.m., were delayed for more than three hours.

Flights to Port Blair, Delhi and Bangalore were also delayed. The Indian Airlines flight from Dubai had to halt at Hyderabad, and it arrived in Chennai several hours beyond schedule.

Visibility across the city was very poor. In the city the fog could be seen "hanging" on the road as late as 7 a.m. Most vehicles had switched on the headlights.

The fog began to set in around 1.30 a.m. on Sunday, and by 3 a.m. zero visibility had been declared for flights operating through Chennai.

Weather officials say fog is common during winter, particularly in December and January when cloud formation is poor. Abundant moisture, light wind and a stable atmosphere cause fog formation. Clouds occurring close to the surface are called fog. Whether fog will form over a city depends on the values of humidity, temperature and wind speed.

Several combinations of these can produce fog but its thickness and duration is equally determined by tiny particles of pollutants.

In the airport chemicals in the fumes ejected by aircrafts cause fog whereas in the city the industrial pollutants and fumes from vehicles are responsible, says a meteorological department official.



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