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Archive for February 6, 2023

Sea Smoke

The recent severe dip in air temperature created the perfect conditions for “sea smoke” to form – a phenomenon that occurs over water, and which commonly takes place in the Arctic and Antarctic but less so in New England.

When a light wind of very cold air sweeps in and mixes with a layer of saturated warm air immediately over warmer water, the layer of warm air is cooled below the dew point. This layer of cooled air can no longer hold as much moisture and the excess is condensed into fog, or sea smoke.  This can and does occur over oceans, lakes (common in the Great Lakes) and rivers.  (Photo:  sea smoke over Lake Champlain, VT)

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