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Fog season is here - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Fog season is here

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Example of ice fog Example of ice fog

Fall through Spring spells "Fog Season" in the ArkLaTex.  Fog is common especially at night in the countryside and when warm fronts pass through during this period.  Other parts of the country are also fog prevalent this time of year including Chicago and San Francisco.  Fog types vary from radiation to hail.  Radiation and advection seem to be the most frequent in our area.

In an ArkLaTex In-Depth report, find out why fog frequents the cooler months of the year, more about the different types and driving safety tips.

Air contains invisible moisture called water vapor.  To produce fog, the air must cool to saturation where the moisture becomes visible forming a cloud on the ground.

This type of cloud develops differently from the normal ones we see high in the sky.  They require rising air motion to form.

 Cool air holds less moisture...saturates easier and quicker. Warm air holds more moisture...takes more to saturate, so, the cooler months of year bring more frequent bouts of fog than the warmer times because cool air holds less moisture than warm air.  Thus, saturation comes quicker and easier.

Here are some fog types that frequent the ArkLaTex. 

First, radiation fog.

It happens with clear sky, light wind nights.  The ground radiates heat to outer space and cools rapidly.  The air close by cools to saturation thus forming fog.  Wet ground enhances this process making the fog more "pea soup like".

 Radiation fog can be a few feet thick in calm winds or a couple hundred with a light breeze.

Another type is advection fog which occurs a few days after a cold front has passed by.  the tail end of the boundary moves back north as a warm front in advance of the next storm system.  The boundary brings warm and humid air across a relatively cool ground causing saturation and fog.

Then, there's precipitation fog that develops when rain falls into a dry and cool atmosphere and evaporates.  This process cools the air even more.  Additional rain causes saturation and fog.

Steam fog happens when chilly air resides over warm water.  Usually this happens early in the fall.

 

If it's below freezing, fog can coat roads, bridges and overpasses with ice. 

 

Hail fog   is not as common as the rest, but can happen any time. A good example were the foggy conditions after a hail storm http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndhrme2enqm in Haskel, Texas, in 2003.

 The hazards of fog are obvious.  Reduced visibility makes for dangerous driving.

 Leaving early, slowing down and using your low beam head lights are the best ways to combat driving in fog.

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