ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - We've all experienced fog at some point. It may be interesting to look at, but it can be hazardous! Throughout this web article, I’ll be discussing fog and the dangers of driving through it. Also, I’ll discuss the types of fog that the state of Louisiana can experience throughout the year.
First, let's look at the definition. Fog is water droplets that are suspended in our atmosphere in the vicinity of the Earth’s surface that lead to affecting overall visibility. Fog of all types originates when both the temperatures and dewpoints of the air are the same, or very similar.
As we all know, fog can be quite the travel headache, especially for the morning drive to your destination. It’s always a good idea to take it easy when there is fog and to drive with caution. Perhaps leave an extra five to ten minutes earlier than you normally would, or perhaps drive below the speed limit if the fog is too much to handle on the roads.
Another tip too, as this has happened to me before, putting on those hazard lights in your vehicles to let drivers behind you know you are driving cautiously in heavy fog conditions is a smart idea.
According to the Louisiana and Southeast Texas Fog Research and Modeling from the National Weather Service, the most common types of fog that form across the state are Radiation and Marine fog. The other types of monthly fog that occurs in Louisiana are advection and frontal fog. During the months of November through April, there are at least three different types of fog that occur, this according to the fog research and modeling resource from the National Weather Service I mentioned previously.
Now let's go down the list of monthly fog types by the number of occurrences from most frequent to least frequent (according to the Fog Research and Modeling website). Marine fog occurs approximately over 20 days over the course of 7 months. Next, we have radiation fog which occurs approximately over 19 days over the course of 9 months. Finally, we have advection and frontal fog, which both occur approximately 6 days over the course of 4 months.
As far as the number of days each month when fog occurs, October, November, December, January, February, March and April are the months that have anywhere between approximately 5 to 11 days of fog.
Another tidbit as well is that months that have at least 3 or more consecutive fog days are between the months of November and February.
To summarize, radiation fog is the most common type of fog that occurs in the state of Louisiana (occurring over 9 months). As stated previously, it occurs approximately 19 days over the course of 9 months. You need to have the right weather conditions for radiation fog to occur, especially when rain has fallen during the previous night. This allows for the soil to moisten up and leads to higher overall dew points. In turn, this makes it easier for the air to become overall saturated and forms the fog. You also need to have light winds in order for radiation fog to form.
The KALB First Alert Storm Team, typically in the mornings, will post a visibility check on social media if there are fog problems and mention it on air during the morning shows. Always drive safely with extra caution when there is fog on the roads.