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Blowin' in the Wind, Issue #007 - Fog weather terms and definitions - June 1, 2004
May 31, 2004

Words for fog weather

What causes fog weather? You can see a list of common and technical words used to describe different types of fog, and natural fog creation processes below.

It should help clear up an otherwise foggy issue, if you will, as some of them are interchangeable and a bit confusing.

Fog Lexicon

Advection Fog - Fog transported across the earth's surface from somewhere else.

Arctic Sea Smoke - Evaporation fog (see below) resulting from liquid water exposed to cold air.

Biometeor - Large swarm of insects or pollen giving a foggy appearance.

Breath - Becomes a visible fog when exhaled into cold damp air.

Cloud - Fog that does not contact the ground and is therefore seen from a distance. Also refers to fog visible from on a distant elevated location such as mountain.

Condensation - Opposite of evaporation. Invisible water vapour forming little particles or droplets, as fog.

Evaporation Fog - Fog formed by water vapor entering the air and condensing into droplets.

What is fog - Surface based types of clouds. Mass of condensed water vapour on or near the ground. Meteorologists call it mist if it is light and visibility is 1 kilometre, 5/8 of a mile, or greater. If heavier, itís fog. In ice fog, frozen crystals replace the droplets.

Fog Bank - Thick fog. Usually refers to a single cluster of it.

Fret - Same as Haar below

Gloom - Describes foggy conditions. Dark or dim, shadowy, limited visibility.

Haar - Springtime fog that drifts from the North Sea into eastern areas of the United Kingdom.

Haze - Mixture of dust, smoke and water particles that reduces visibility.

Hydrometeor - Water or ice particles in the air. Fog, rain, snow, etc.

Lithometeor - Mineral particles in the air. Dust, salt, smoke etc. Also known as particulate matter.

Miasma - Toxic discharge, sometimes resembling fog.

Mist - Light fog, visibility reduced, but still more than a kilometre.

Murk - or murkiness, daytime darkness associated with heavy fog, precipitation or dark clouds.

Orographic Fog - Fog extracted from air forced uphill.

Pall - Cover, as in fog or cloud cover, causing darkness.

Pollution - Foreign substance in the air or environment.

Radiation Fog - Fog that forms, often on clear nights, by the surface below getting colder.

Shadow - An area that is blocked from full direct sunlight by something such as a fog bank or cloud. Shade is somewhat darker than unobstructed light. Night is really a big shadow, the earthís shadow. So is a lunar eclipse.

Smog - Foggy conditions caused by smoke and pollution combined with fog. Smoke + Fog = Smog.

Smoke - Combustion particles in the air giving it a smell and reducing visibility.

Spray - Fog of water or other liquid droplets.

Steam - Visible mixture of condensation and water vapor in air. Product of boiling water.

Upslope Fog - Orographic fog, caused by moist air rising up a hill.

What is water vapor or vapour - Water in gaseous invisible form. Also describes visible mixture of gas and liquid particles.

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