LUBBOCK, Texas — Fog is formed when tiny water droplets converge near the surface of the earth. Essentially it is a cloud that touches the ground and can cause decreased visibility.
There are two forms of fog that we get in this region, advection fog and radiation fog.
Advection fog is when warm and moist air moves over cooler ground. When the warm air starts to cool it reaches a dew point. It then saturates and condenses forming a cloud.
This type of fog happens mostly during the spring. Radiation fog is when heat radiating off the ground cools the top layer of the air causing the air temperature to drop and reach the dew point. It saturates then condenses and forms fog.
The National Weather Service will issue a dense fog advisory for fog that is a quarter of a mile or less for visibility.
When temperatures freeze particles in the fog can touch a surface and cause it to freeze. A freezing fog advisory is issued for visibility one mile or less when this occurs. In both instances the fog can make it very difficult for drivers. When these conditions occur slowing down and giving yourself more distance is good advice for any type of inclement weather.
National Weather Service meteorologist Marissa Pazos recommends pulling off into a parking lot or a safe place.
“If that can’t happen and you have to be driving, use your low beams, or your fog lights,” Pazos said. “Don’t use your high beams, it reflects right off that white cloud that you see and it is going to cause glare and you won’t be able to see where you are going.”
There is a big misconception when pulling off to the side of the road during dense fog. It is recommended to pull off as far as possible and make sure you turn off your lights, flashers and take your foot off the brake.
This may seem opposite to what you might think but during weather with decreased visibility other drivers often tend to follow the car in front of them and can possibly crash into you.
Using these driving tips can help keep you safe but if you can avoid having to drive during dense fog or any decreased visibility officials encourage you to do so.