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Field Notes

Covering the natural wonders of the Pacific Northwest

September 22, 2012 at 7:00 AM

Just in time for fall: morning fog

It’s back: the bewitching touch of fog in the morning, ghosting over Puget Sound and winding through trees, buildings,and shimmering in the morning sunlight. Sometimes not dissipating until late in the afternoon, it converts even the most ordinary view into a dreamscape.

fog.jpg

Cranes on Seattle’s waterfront are lost in the fog on Friday afternoon as arctic sea smoke graces the city.

Photo by Linda Shaw

Called arctic sea smoke, the morning fog is a product of temperature differentiation. Cooler morning air arriving with the turn of the season is hitting water still warm from summer. As they collide, the moisture from the water’s surface condenses out of the colder air, creating thick fog over water bodies such as Puget Sound. Ponds steam. Lakes smoke. It’s a delight particular to fall, which arrives today.

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