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Breakdown: What is freezing fog & why it can be dangerous

Published: Feb. 24, 2022 at 8:50 AM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) -Fog alone can be dangerous to motorist but if freezing fog develops, that can bring additional issues. Freezing fog can develop when the temperature drops to freezing (32 degrees) or lower. Freezing fog is composed of small liquid droplets, like normal fog but with freezing fog, the tiny water droplets in freezing fog is supercooled. Supercooled means water is cooled below the freezing point but the droplets are still liquid.

These supercooled droplets will freeze on surfaces that it comes in contact with and can create a coating of ice on whatever surface it touches. Some surfaces it can freeze on include stairs, trees branches, cars, rails, sidewalks, and unfortunately roads.

Freezing Fog that freezes on roads can cause black ice to form and black ice can be especially dangerous since it is so thin and blends in to the roads. This can be hazardous to motorist.

Here are some safety tips when driving in foggy conditions:

- Take it slow and allow extra time to reach your destination.

- Use your low-beam headlights and fog lights if possible. Never use your high-beam lights, as they create a glare in the fog and make it harder to see.

- Leave plenty of distance between you and the vehicle in front of you.

- If the fog is very dense, turn on your hazard lights and find a safe place to park until conditions improve.

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