Thursday, January 22, 2009

Florida Chill & Some Freezing Fog

Now this is a map you don't see everyday.

Outside of the Keys, every location in Florida was between 25 and 49 degrees this morning.

Freezing temperatures were reported as far south as the northwest suburbs of Miami.

Naples, Fort Meyers and Punta Gorda were all sitting in the mid-30s at last check.

It had warmed to 49 degrees in Miami after an official low at the airport of 43.

West Palm Beach set a new record low afternoon high on Wednesday -- the daytime temperature only reached 56 degrees. It was the coldest afternoon high on that date since 1978.

Meanwhile, Denver set a new record high of 71 degrees on Wednesday!

What a flip-flop, we had Florida's weather and they had ours!

I was in south Florida a few years ago during January for a work meeting when they had a few days with morning lows in the 30s and 40s.

As you can imagine, it was a top news story and all the reporters were bundled up like you see during a snowstorm here in the snowy climates.

It was really funny to me -- but to that area, that IS the equivalent of us getting a steak of weather in the single digits and teens or lower.

For those of us in the west -- we've been enjoying a lengthy stretch of mild, dry weather thanks to a huge ridge of high pressure.

Well that ridge is flattening out, or in weather jargon is breaking down, and fronts will start moving into the region this weekend, bringing cooler and wetter weather.

Bob in Washington state wrote and said he had been getting freezing fog and it leaves a little accumulation on his snow board and gauge.

Is this a trace?

No -- we often get the same question with the formation of dew in the warmer southern climates.

Both fog and dew are "formed" from ground based physical processes and do not "fall" from cloud based processes in the sky.

It is still great to note both dew and fog in your comments, however, because it's documentation of the weather pattern over your area.

Good news for you Bob -- this high pressure that has kept the northwestern air so stagnant for several days will finally move on so hopefully these cold fronts will clear things up a bit.

Along with more cold and snow for eastern Washington.

After several days at 30 to 45 below around the first of the year, and then a stretch at 20 to 40 above zero recently, the temps in Fairbanks, Alaska are falling back to more seasonal levels as a new bubble of arctic air builds in the region.

It's something to keep an eye on because if it grows and gets really cold like it did around the first of the year -- it could be the next cold snap for the lower 48 states during the month of February.


  1. Oboy.

    Chris, see your previous post and my response to Bob and the included comment from Nolan.

    I'm reading two different recommendations. Nolan sez to report precip from fog, you're saying don't report. Am I misreading, or is there a professional difference of opinion?

    I understand the whole objective is to report new precipitation that comes from the sky, and not recycled precipitation that's recondensed from the ground.

    Seems to me there's situations where it's hard to know whether it's new or not.

    Some consensus clarification from our helpful leaders (I mean that really-- you guys are great!!) would really be good, I think.

  2. In my humble opinion... I would agree with Chris on the freezing fog, dew accumulating issue. It's doesn't count. But I am not a pro and probably do not posses the necessary knowledge to even express my opinion. :)

  3. It’s good to read the discussion about freezing fog. Over the past several days I’ve seen what looked like a light “snow fall” during our persistent fog. The moisture from the fog freezes as it moves through the air and accumulates. There is a build-up on the ground and on just about everything else– power lines and poles, rain gutters, my deck, the fencing around my veggie patch, the outside unit of my Davis weather station.

    It’s acting like snow…

    Bob, WA-LN-2
    Northeastern Washington State

  4. I'm only an old aerospace engineer, but I'm pretty sure fog is a ground-hugging cloud. There sure isn't 0.03" coming off the ground each day, that I melt from what the freezing fog has deposited.

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  7. ... to clarify, mist/fog over a body of water (which a Floridian may be more familiar with) may well be coming off the body of water. Out here on the high-dry Columbia Plateau (Bob in Washington, and I in North-Central Oregon) our fogs are clouds.