Storm Track 3 Digital Extra: After a foggy start, what causes fog to form

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Our day began with a thick layer of fog across the KSN Viewing Area and this can create travel headaches and just put a damper on your day.

Some may wonder, “well how do these clouds on the ground form?” A fair amount of ingredients have to come together for fog to form and to keep it around awhile. Two big ingredients have to be in place for fog to develop, but a third ingredient can make it even worse.

The main ones are clear skies and calm winds. If you have starry conditions in play, our temps can cool toward those dew points and we can hit saturation quicker.

When we hit saturation either dew or clouds form and that’s what fog is. It’s just a cloud at the surface. The next factor is the calm winds. If winds are stronger, they can mix up the lower-levels of the atmosphere and keep that fog from forming. If they’re calm, the air becomes stagnant and that layer of fog can just sit there. The third ingredient is the moisture heavy soil.

If a lot of rain has fallen, the moisture in the ground can transfer with the lowest level of the atmosphere, yielding to higher dew points. It is the process of what we call evapotranspiration. Boiling it down, it’s the exchange of moisture into the atmosphere from the soil and plants.

These 3 parts create the recipe for the soupy start that we had this morning.

Have a great day!

-Meteorologist T.J. Springer

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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