Fog Season Be Prepared

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The fog season is a season of fog that occurs in some places, because of special meteorological and topographical characteristics, after a rainy period. The fog season is usually based in the cooler months (late autumn, winter and early spring).

Just like there are many types of cloud formations, there are many types of fog. Oregon has a freezing fog that can coat the road like black ice. California’s “tule fog” usually forms in low-lying areas that typically have bulrushes (tule, pronounced “too-lee”) growing in them. Tule fog can reduce visibility on a stretch of highway to only a few feet, while other areas are nearly clear.Fog can come along on any stretch of the road.: You can be driving along with enough visibility and then suddenly go through a patch where you can barely see the road.

When this happens don’t panic;

  • Merge to the right lane, turn on hazard lights and slow down
    Turn off your cruise control.
  • Look for taillights ahead of you. Not to follow, but for stopping
  • Drive with enough stopping space so you can stop in the distance you can see.
  • Use low-beam headlights. High-beam headlights will bounce the bright light back into your face temporarily blinding you. This happens because the moisture in the air reflects the light back in your eyes, temporarily blinding you. Use low-beams.
  • In dense fog, use front fog lights in addition to your low-beams if you have them.
  • NEVER drive using only your parking or fog lights. It’s illegal and unsafe. Use rear fog lights if you have them when visibility is less than around 300 feet.
  • Fog lights should be turned off when visibility is normal. They can be distracting for oncoming drivers.
  • Keep your headlights clean. Get in the habit of wiping them off whenever you fill your gas tank.
  • Keep the windshield clear and use the defroster to avoid fogged windows.
  • Keep on the alert for slow-moving or stopped vehicles. Slow down more when you see red taillights ahead.
  • Avoid using your hazard lights while moving — other drivers may think you’ve stopped.
  • Use the right edge of the road, white fog line or roadside reflectors as a guide to stay in your lane.
  • Be patient. Don’t change lanes or pass other vehicles unless you really have to, and NEVER try to pass long lines of traffic in fog.
  • Don’t creep along; somebody else may crash into you. If visibility is extremely poor, exit the freeway or find a safe place to pull over. Some highways in California have signs that estimate road visibility and a 3-2-1 countdown pattern of reflective pavement markers to help motorists take exit ramps in heavy fog.
  • If you need to stop and there’s no nearby exit, pull off the pavement as far as safely possible. Turn off your lights, set the emergency brake and take your foot off the brake to be sure your taillights aren’t lit up. Turn on your emergency flashers. Wait it out until conditions improve.
  • Never stop in the travel lanes. If you can’t pull over, go slow and sound the horn occasionally
  • What You Should Know about Fog Lights

FYI;

  • The foggiest area in the United States is Point Reyes, California. It is in the top two foggiest land areas in the world with over 200 days of fog a year.
  • There are as many types of fog as there are cloud formations in the sky.
  • If you thought all fogs were created equal think again. There are many types: Radiation fog, Sea fog, Ground fog, Advection fog, Steam fog (also called evaporation fog), Precipitation fog, Upslope fog, Valley fog, Ice fog, Freezing fog and Artificial fog.
  • Westcoast fog months May and June (hence the terms May Gray and June Gloom) but in August that's also usually not a thing.

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