Why so foggy?

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Make sure to take your time driving around Thursday morning due to some thick fog.

Fog is basically a cloud on the ground.

We’re not alone. Take a look at the areas (those in gray) on this map with dense fog advisories.

I don’t recall seeing a map like that in a long time. All of the rain in these areas, including in our own backyard certainly helped to bring about this foggy weather.

Weather cameras around Central New York

Types of fog

  • Advection fog – this occurs when you move milder and more humid air over a cool surface.
  • Radiation fog – this occurs with radiational cooling and the air cools to saturation. Think valley fog on a cool morning.
  • There are actually 6 more types of fog you can learn about here, but these are a bit more infrequent in Central New York but can happen from time to time.

What we’re dealing with is advection fog. It’s no coincidence that the areas seeing fog now are the same areas that were shivering with arctic cold just last week. The ground had a chance to cool (or become snow-covered) and now milder and more humid air is flowing over that cooler ground.

The moist air is cooled to the saturation point and BAM! you have fog.

The fact that there isn’t much wind is also helping because the air isn’t getting stirred or mixed up.

Advice for driving in fog

These are from the National Weather Service:

  • Slow down and allow extra time to reach your destination.
  • Make your vehicle visible to others both ahead of you and behind you by using your low-beam headlights since this means your taillights will also be on. Use fog lights if you have them.
  • Never use your high-beam lights. Using high-beam lights causes glare, making it more difficult for you to see what’s ahead of you on the road.
  • Leave plenty of distance between you and the vehicle in front of you to account for sudden stops or changes in the traffic pattern.
  • To ensure you are staying in the proper lane, follow the lines on the road with your eyes.
  • In extremely dense fog where visibility is near zero, the best course of action is to first turn on your hazard lights, then simply pull into a safe location such as a parking lot of a local business, and stop.
  • If there is no parking lot or driveway to pull into, pull your vehicle off to the side of the road as far as possible. Once you come to a stop, turn off all lights except your hazard flashing lights, set the emergency brake, and take your foot off of the brake pedal to be sure the tail lights are not illuminated so that other drivers don’t mistakenly run into you.

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