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Rare fog forms on Florida coastline


Fog rises over buildings on Florida's coast on Monday. Photo credit: PanHandle Helicopters / The Weather Channel
Fog rises over buildings on Florida's coast on Monday. Photo credit: PanHandle Helicopters / The Weather Channel

Hilary Hagerman, staff writer

February 7, 2012 — Strange fog formations made for a spectacular skyline in Panama City, Florida on Monday. But what caused this phenomenon?

"Fog has to form at a certain relative humidity," explains Dayna Vettese, a meteorologist at The Weather Network. "In this case, the relative humidity and onshore flow were just perfect to create this kind of phenomenon."

Vettese explains that there is more friction over land than over water, which causes the air to slow down as it hits the land. This gives the air extra lift.

The air condenses further because the highrises on the beach are in the way, and is forced up and over the buildings.

"The fog sinks on the other side of the building, where there is lower relative humidity, which causes it to start to dissipate," she explains.

"It's pretty rare for it to happen this way, because you need all the atmospheric conditions to be just right," says Vettese, noting that the relative humidity just offshore was probably very high.

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