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Weather Lab Summer Session: All about freezing fog

Anchorage KTUU-TV logo Anchorage KTUU-TV 6/3/2021 Aaron Morrison
a view of a beach with a mountain in the background: Fog in Anchorage © Provided by Anchorage KTUU-TV Fog in Anchorage

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Most prominent during the winter months, freezing fog can paint the landscape in a sea of white crystals. It comes at a cost though, as the freezing fog can distort our vision, muffle sound and create hazardous driving conditions.

Freezing fog can even linger for days, thanks to a warm air inversion which is fairly typical during the winter months. This leads to worsening air quality and can affect both ground and air transportation.

While freezing fog, like all forms of precipitation, has its drawbacks, the true beauty of the fog is on display as it lifts and the sun comes out. The sun shines on the ice crystals that cover the surface and creates a stunning display.

Some fun facts about fog:

  • Fog is caused by tiny droplets of water and on the rare occasions ice crystals, that are suspended in the air near the ground.
  • Fog forms when the dew point and temperature difference are around or less than 4 degrees.
  • Fog during the winter months can produce light snow.
  • The foggiest place on earth is near Newfoundland, Canada. Here the cold Labrador current meets the warmth of the Gulf Stream, which leads to over 200 foggy days a year.
  • Fog played an essential role in the American Revolutionary War, as it forced George Washington to retreat from the British, likely preventing heavy casualties.

Watch the video above for more on freezing fog, or ice fog which happens quite often in the Interior portions of Alaska.

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