The National Weather Service has issued a freezing fog into Tuesday afternoon for the Tri-Cities and the surrounding area.  Freezing Fog can be one of the most treacherous conditions for drivers as temperatures remain low and road conditions can be even more dangerous.

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What is Freezing Fog?

Fog is moisture, or to be more precise, clouds of water droplets that are near ground level and dense enough to hinder visibility.  Freezing Fog is when those droplets freeze on exposed surfaces.  Those droplets can freeze on practically any surface.  They can freeze on rail lines, power lines, the bird feeder in your backyard, your windshield wipers, tree limbs, and in places where it is most concerning for commuters, on roads and bridges.

Photo Courtesy of NOAA
Photo Courtesy of NOAA
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What problems does it create?

The biggest concern on roads and bridge surfaces is the creation of black ice.  Things may look clear, but the freezing fog and freezing temperatures create a slick surface that can send any vehicle sliding if you aren't prepared.  Black Ice is practically invisible so always exercise additional caution if you need to travel in freezing fog conditions.

That same slickness can also create problems on your sidewalk, driveway, deck, porch, or any other walking area that is exposed to the elements.

Freezing Fog can also create issues for air travel.  The fog can create a thin layer of ice on the aircraft creating an extremely dangerous situation.  If you see a plane being hosed off on a winter morning, that's more than likely a de icing solution being applied to prepare the plane for flight.

How long is it going to hang around?

We could see freezing fog off and on this week as temperatures are not expected to be above freezing through the weekend.  It will definitely be a factor for the next 24 hours.  Be careful when driving to and from work, minimize any unnecessary travel, and have some ice melt applications available around the house to keep you and yours as safe as possible.

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