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.’
A Foggy Day
In winter seasons, when the temperature is low, the mornings are sometime very foggy. One who is out of doors and face to face with fog can know pleasant or unpleasant fogginess is. One must be one’s foot go through the tickling experiences of fogginess. Fortunately I had several opportunities of going through such experiences when I was a boy of twelve of thirteen years. I lived in my village and had to walk a distance of four miles every morning to reach my school in the town. Here was a kackha road with fields on both its sides, the road had several curves at intervening distances. It passed over several small bridges and a big bridge under which the Jamuna flowed.
As I left the village in the company of my four or five friends early in the morning, we felt a bit nervous in the midst of fog which had thickly pervaded the atmosphere. As we came out of the village and were on the road, we felt very shaky. WE could not see anything in front of us. We had to grope for our next step and walk with cautious steps. However, there were stray remarks from each one of us and no constant conversation as it used to be on oher days. We were wrapped up in chadors or shawls to keep the cold at an arm’s length.
When we had left the village a few furlongs behind, we felt a bit better. The fog was not so thick here and we had the beautiful sights of the fields to enjoy. However, the fields did not look so green as they used to appear on other mornings. Layers of some white substance had settled on the leaves of the plants. Watered fields gave solace to the eyes. We felt sorry for the unneutered movement in the leaves of the trees. The early pedestrians or cyclists did not look to be active. As we advanced on the way, we speed faster. AS we reached the bridge of the Jamuna we decided to take rest. We sat down on the bridge and looked happily around. We saw the birds in their nests an on the bare trees. The birds sitting on the branches looked more miserable. There were no flights of birds. The water of the Jamuna seemed to have lazy flow.
A car whose light was hazy stopped on the bridge. The driver saluted us and was on his way again. We saw some deer standing quietly under a tree. There was strange silence and laziness in the whole atmosphere. The fog lessened as we neared the town. The rising sun struggled to come out of the clouds. There was no sunlight even when we reached the school. Time passed, but there was no sunlight.