Fog – smother or serene?

It’s been foggy in North Texas lately so that spurred me to actually research the subject.

Fog looks simple but it’s apparently pretty complicated and can form in different ways (radiation, advection, evaporation, topographical reasons, etc.)  under a variety of conditions such as daily temperature changes, freeze and hail.

Generally fog is a ground-level cloud containing floating water or ice droplets. While all air around us contains water vapor, warm air can hold a lot of water but once it cools (drops below the dew-point temperature at a particular pressure), it causes the vapor to condense. If sufficient droplets form, fog is created.

My husband calls fog peaceful, I call it eerie and yucky. This was my drive this morning:Fog2

DFW mid cities early January morning fog
DFW mid cities early January morning fog

Looking at the mugginess makes me think of all the liquefied pollution that we are inhaling. The mixture of the fog with toxins in the air such as sulfur and nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide and ozone form vehicle emission and general industrialization can lead to many health issues like decreased lung function, coughing, bronchitis and eye irritation. Don’t get me started on the dangers of low visibility on the highway at 70 mph.

If you step out of the polluted city air, however, fog – as my husband notes – can be quite tranquil:

Early morning Ketchikan, AK
Tracy Arm Fjord from the water
Белоградчишки скали (Belogradchishki Skali), Bulgaria
Белоградчишки скали (Belogradchishki Skali), Bulgaria

Fog is a natural humidifier so in clean air can actually aid lung function and weaken asthma symptoms. Fog can create rainbows, bring water to drought regions and grow grapes (?!) (Nebbiolo grapes in Barolo, Italy).

What about you – yay or nay on foggy days?


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