Just when you think you have a handle on all things weather-related…
After several nights of sleep deprivation, my mind is in a fog. But this blog is a cruel taskmistress. It expects me to grind out content regardless of how many cylinders I’m running on. So, in a desperate attempt to come up with a topic without causing too much strain to my brain, I’ve decided to write about fog. But not just any fog.
When I moved to the Pacific Northwest from Florida, I began to experience weather phenomena that I didn’t even realize existed. One such moment of weirdness was when I walked out into a cold and foggy landscape only to discover that the fog was… how do I even describe it? Tactile. As though I could have made it into a snowball with enough patience and effort. It crackled. I could grab it out of mid air and examine it in my hand. Freezing fog doesn’t really leave you feeling wet like other fog does. (That is, until you thaw out.)
Stuff like this never happens in Florida. I began to wonder if I was hallucinating.
It turns out that there is such a thing as freezing fog. According to a quick glance at Wikipedia, that font of all human knowledge, freezing fog can adhere to surfaces and leave a rime. Apparently another term for it is pogonip, but I’ve yet to hear anyone use that word.
It seems to happen most often in deep mountain valleys, but also in inland areas of the Pacific Northwest. Learning this is a relief, because I truly thought I was losing my mind. Nature is so complex. I love it.
Wikipedia also informs me that there are other types of fog. Frozen (as opposed to freezing) fog requires a visit to Alaska when the temperature drops below -31F. (No thank you.) In those cases, the moisture forms ice crystals in midair.
There’s also evaporation or steam fog, ice fog, precipitation or frontal fog, hail fog, upslope or hill fog, valley fog, sea and coastal fog, and something called Garua fog. I had no idea. I always thought fog was fog.
Just when you think you have a handle on all things weather-related, Mother Nature humbles you.
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