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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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4 responses

  1. Stein


    February 6, 2023 at 8:24 am

  2. Morning Judy,


    div dir=”ltr”>Here is an interesting post

    February 6, 2023 at 9:01 am

  3. Alice

    Beautiful photo…I could do without the cold blasts of air (south of Boston)…except it does make you realize how extra nice it is when it warms up!

    February 6, 2023 at 9:06 am

  4. Susan Axe-Bronk

    Fascinating! During this Arctic blast, we saw what looks like snow flakes and little plops of snow dotting the frozen Charles River in Waltham, MA. They are not embedded in the ice but on the surface, easily swept away. Anyone know what caused this? Were they simply random snowflakes that didn’t melt?

    February 6, 2023 at 10:07 am

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