In a time of such undoubted climate change, it’s a relief when days in deep midwinter behave like they should. So far this year, up on the north west coast of England, all the days have felt like a freakish early springtime. Until the last two.
When I got up yesterday morning I was shocked to see that I could only just make out the other side of the road. Liverpool was in a deep fog, the first I remember in a very long time.
And I went out for my run in this deep fog, to see what it was like. Quiet. The loudest sounds were my feet hitting the ground. Cars slow and careful. And in the park no one. Just me and the trees I couldn’t see the tops of. I felt as if I was moving faster than usual, an illusion but a pleasure.
And when I got home my hair was soaking wet from all of this running through a cloud I’d been doing.
Later on the fog had cleared a little bit and we needed to go into town. Sarah then took these lovely photographs of our winter world.
Time for a cup of tea, then. And swap to Hipstamatic on the iPhone.
Today you would only describe as ‘misty.’ So what’s the difference? Over to Guardian reader Nick Weaver, who tells us it’s all a matter of visibility:
“You can see further in mist than in fog. By international convention, visibility in fog is less than 1 km, which is the definition used in shipping and aviation forecasts. However, in forecasts for the general public in Britain, fog refers to visibility of less than 200 yards. Both mist and fog are caused by microscopic water droplets suspended in the air. The visibility depends on how far light can travel before too much of it is randomly scattered by hitting droplets. The bigger and closer together the droplets are the smaller this distance is. In mist the droplets are very tiny, in fog they are bigger. When droplets exceed about 200 micrometres in diameter they tend to fall earthwards and are called drizzle. Mizzle is a mixture of mist and drizzle, also known as Scotch Mist. Water droplets in mist, fog or clouds do not evaporate because the air is saturated or very close to it, (the relative humidity is between 100% and 95%). Haze is another term for reduced visibility but the particles in suspension which cause haze are dry and the relative humidity is below 95%. It is possible, though rare, to get dry fog which is haze with visibility below 1km. All this and more is in the Meteorological Glossary published by Her Majesty’s Stationery Office.”
There. So now we know.
And to finish? Frank Sinatra serenades us with his well loved classic ‘A foggy day in Liverpool.’