The following paragraph is from Wikipedia "Airport" page with no citation.

The construction of airports has been known to change local weather patterns. For example, because they often flatten out large areas, they can be susceptible to fog in areas where fog rarely forms. In addition, they generally replace trees and grass with pavement, they often change drainage patterns in agricultural areas, leading to more flooding, run-off and erosion in the surrounding land

Is that bold statement true?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Hmm... This seems like it would have rather the opposite effect. It's usually harder for fog to form when there's nothing to break the wind and easier for it to burn off in flat areas, where hills and trees don't provide shade when the sun is low on the horizon. $\endgroup$
    – reirab
    Oct 11, 2015 at 2:52

1 Answer 1


The statement is apparently from the Introduction to Airports Design and Operations of Center for Air Transportation Systems Research at George Mason University.

One form of fog that is formed in airports usually is radiation (or ground) fog. As the flat open surfaces in airport are prone to cooling overnight due to thermal radiation, the air close to the surface is also cooled to the dew point. This reduces the ability of the air to hold moisture, allowing condensation and fog to occur.

One reason for the statement may be that open areas in the airport give up their heat much quicker than urban heat islands, which does not have flat surfaces prone to thermal radiation.


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