In a Fog...

In recent weeks fog has been a huge issue here in Northwest Florida... especially along the coast. It has probably made you think you were living in San Francisco rather than NW Florida. What has been causing the fog?

Although winter time is usually our foggiest time of year here in Northwest Florida...  this year seems to have been particularly foggy.  I have received countless e-mails from viewers asking why it has been so foggy?!?!  The above picture is from mid-January and was taken from our PCB Studio tower camera looking toward the Gulf... only the tops of the condos on the beach where visible.

This past Sunday we saw dense fog along the immediate coastline and out into our coastal waters.  Only a little bit of the fog was over land.  This fog is known as advection fog and is the same type of fog they often see in places like San Francisco.  The above satellite picture was taken by the NOAA MODIS Terra satellite and illustrates it beautifully.

Advection fog occurs when warm moist air passes over a cooler surface.  In this case we had had a front pass through our area and bring slightly cooler, drier air to our region.  By Saturday night we saw a light S/SE flow develop which brought moisture back to our region from out in the Gulf of Mexico.  Because cool air holds less moisture than warmer air... the cool air near the coastline became saturated... and hence the fog!

Because of the recent warm spell water temperatures are now warming into the middle 60s...  as the water temperatures increase we will begin to see our fog events subside.

Another common type of fog in our region is call Sea smoke.  This fog occurs when cold air passes over warm water... more common in the fall after frontal passages.

The most common type of fog in NW Florida is known as Radiation fog.  This type of fog occurs usually on clear nights with light winds when there is a high moisture content to the atmosphere.  This often occurs here in the summer time when we get those afternoon/early evening storms.  The moisture from those storms condenses and forms fog later in the night.  This fog typically does not last long after sunrise.

For more information on different types of fog and how and where they form check out the Wikipedia page.

To check out lots of viewer pictures of the fog or to submit your own go to our website.

We are also now providing local visibilities on the weather page of our website.

One last thing... we are now providing the 3 day pollen forecast on our website (and in most newscasts).  To get it 24/7... just go to the weather page at

As always... if you ever need anything or have any questions do not hesitate to ask.


--Chris Smith
Chief Meteorologist, WJHG-TV

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