Conditions Are Right For Super Fog
June 16, 2015
Conditions are right for the formation of super fog in Florida right now and that could make driving treacherous for Floridians.
Despite some recent scattered thunderstorms, North Florida is currently experiencing drought conditions and is considered the driest area in the state. The few recent thunderstorms in the area have built up quickly and then rapidly disappeared however, the lightning created by these storms can strike areas far from the rainfall. Those lightning strikes are causing wildfires and it appears that North Florida may be entering a significant fire season. Already, multiple wildfires have popped up throughout the region.
It’s bad enough when the smoke from these fires crosses over roadways. Heavy smoke can make driving conditions extremely hazardous but, when the smoke mixes with fog, conditions can rapidly turn deadly.
As we all know from our basic science classes, warm air holds a lot more moisture and, when humidity levels near 100 percent, fog can form; especially in the cooler, early morning hours. If the fog mixes with smoke from a wildfire, the water droplets in the fog can coat the smoke particles turning it into what’s known as a super fog. Super fog is much more dense and doesn’t dissipate as quickly as a normal fog.
Super fog has been responsible for some of the largest multi-vehicle crashes in the country.
Super fog caused a multi-vehicle crash on I-75 near Gainesville in January 2013 that killed 10 people and injured more than 20 others. Rescuers couldn’t see the victims but, instead, had to listen for screams and moans to reach the injured.
In January 2008, a super fog on I-4 near Lakeland, FL was responsible for a pileup involving 70 vehicles that killed four people and injured 38 others.
If you encounter thick smoke, fog, or a combination of the two, slow down and get off the road. Turning on your hazard lights may not do any good because the fog can be so thick, your lights won’t be visible to other drivers until it’s too late. Crack your window to listen for crashes ahead and, if possible, get off at the nearest exit.
See more: World News: Deadly Pileup