You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Freezing fog could settle over North Texas again Saturday. What makes it dangerous?

Dallas Morning News logo Dallas Morning News 2/3/2023 Noor Adatia, The Dallas Morning News
Lingering clouds and showers envelope the downtown Dallas skyline Monday afternoon, October 24, 2022. © Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News/TNS Lingering clouds and showers envelope the downtown Dallas skyline Monday afternoon, October 24, 2022.

As temperatures begin to warm up and the winter storm comes to an end, North Texans may have to brace for one more unique weather development Saturday: freezing fog.

While the region slowly thaws out, freezing fog can develop and present a danger to drivers, said Juan Hernandez, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

Unlike other types of fog that typically lower visibility for drivers, freezing fog is considered more hazardous as it causes black ice to form on roadways, Hernandez explained.

“It can definitely be dangerous, especially on elevated surfaces like overpasses and bridges, ever after today’s thaw,” he said. Over Thursday night into Friday morning, at least four motorists died and hundreds of vehicle crashes were reported as the area began to refreeze, officials said.

Freezing fog most recently settled over the D-FW area Friday morning, and the weather service reminded drivers to “slow down and drive with extreme caution” when approaching icy bridges and secondary roads.

The weather agency said it will monitor for the fog’s possibility early Saturday morning. Temperatures are expected to reach 29 degrees Friday night, and if they dip low enough, freezing fog can occur.

“If we do have fog, it will have the potential to freeze upon contact,” Hernandez said. The weather service describes the fog on its website as tiny, liquid droplets that can “freeze instantly to any surface.”

In addition to chilly temperatures, freezing fog — just like any other fog — requires a significant amount of moisture in the air.

“If you go out and step on grass, it’s all crunchy and wet, and all that moisture is going to contribute to that,” he said. “For fog, we need a lot of moisture.”

According to the weather service, freezing fog is one of six types of fog. The Dallas area typically sees advection and radiation fog, but there are exceptions in cases of extreme weather.

Freezing fog does not impact people at home. Hernandez cautioned drivers to be especially careful on the roads early Saturday.

“It may be hard to tell that the road is frozen, but there may be some slick spots as you go over the bridge,” he said.

©2023 The Dallas Morning News. Visit Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


More From Dallas Morning News

Dallas Morning News
Dallas Morning News
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon