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HOW IS FOG MADE?

Fog is the condensation of moisture in the atmosphere near
the surface of the earth.

You might discuss the wonders of Mother Nature's fog-making
capacity with the California Highway Patrol or with the
Apricot Growers Council.

Any of the following experiences will help you realize that
real fog is formed in an analogous way through the rapid
cooling and condensation of water vapor in the air near the
earth's surface.

a. Heat some water in a container until it boils, then fill
a large bottle slowly with the boiling water. Next,
empty all but 1 inch of water from the bottle, and hold
the bottle in such a way that the light source (e.g.,
window, electric light) comes from behind you. Now set
the bottle on a tray of ice cubes, and describe what
happens inside the bottle. You will realize that in a
similar way, fog forms at night when the earth cools
rapidly (represented by the ice cube tray) and the air
next to it cools in turn and comes in contact with the
warmer moist air above.

b. Take a large fruit juice can, put some ice in it, and add
a handful of salt to make it even colder inside the can.
Set a smaller can on the ice so that the tops of both
cans are even. Pack more ice and salt into the space
between the two cans, and exhale into the smaller can.
You will see fog form and remain in the smaller can.

Similarly, real fog forms and clings in valleys when the
ground is cooled rapidly.

Fog is important to some crops, such as apricots. If we have
no fog (or just a little fog) during a winter, the apricot
crop will be substantially smaller than it is after a winter with frequent fog.

You should go out in your front yards on a very foggy day,
and sing. Or shout. Sound carries differently in fog than
in clear air.

Fog is also dangerous. Be careful!


 
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