Smoke and fog threaten to create a situation of near-zero visibility going into tomorrow's commute, weather and emergency officials reported today, Feb. 15.
The National Weather Service Office in Ruskin reports fog is expected to develop overnight, which could combine with the smoke from today's fire in Riverview to create visibilities near zero or even the development of a "super-fog," officials said.
The weather service will issue dense fog and smoke advisories as needed.
Fog is defined on the Weather Channel’s Web site as “a cloud at ground level.”
“It forms when then temperature drops to the dew point (the temperature at which air is saturated) and invisible water vapor in the air condenses to form suspended water droplets.”
Pretty cool, except that fog “can reduce visibility to one-quarter mile or less, creating hazardous driving conditions,” the primer continues.
Keep in mind these tips for driving in the fog, as presented by the Weather Channel, drawing upon the National Weather Service and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation as sources:
- Drive with your lights in low beam. High beams will reflect back off the fog and, in turn, impair your visibility even more.
- Reduce your speed and check the odometer. Fog creates a visual illusion and you might be driving faster than you think.
- Crack the window to hear better. Listen more closely for the traffic that is harder to see.
- Pilot your vehicle. Use the right edge of the road or painted road markings as your guide. Be patient and avoid the passing lane. Use wipers and defrosters as necessary to ensure maximum visibility under the circumstances.
- In case of an emergency, be very, very careful. Avoid stopping on a freeway or heavily traveled road. If your car stalls or becomes disabled, turn off your vehicles lights and take your foot off the brake pedal. People tend to follow taillights when driving in fog. Move away from the vehicle to avoid injury.