Printer Friendly

Ice fog and frog storms -- Oh my!

Byline: George Barnes

In February it is easy to get obsessed with the weather and forget about important things.

I am totally obsessed, especially after this week. I nearly forgot that I need to get out the next couple of days and get my wife a card for Valentine's Day.

Weather has been at best unpleasant, and at worst like having your town invaded by Ghengis Khan. It is easy to obsess about it. Even Downton Abbey has not turned my mind from despairing over the weather.

Weather already worries me, but lately I have discovered things about it that creep me out.

In December it was easy to go around screaming that a storm was coming just because it was going to snow. It actually felt energizing. But Mother Nature now apparently realizes it can no longer freak us out by just throwing a storm at us. Now it is rolling out new things, scary things from the depths of NOAA rarely heard of in polite company. Dare I say thunder snow? Freezing fog? Pretty cool, huh? Just about everyone except me learned of thunder snow first hand. In the middle of the second round of snow, around 11 p.m. Thursday, people in my neck of the woods were rattled by thunder and lots of lightning in a snowstorm.

That was cool, but this weekend freezing fog may be headed our way. NOAA had it on its forecast.

Freezing fog? Fog is supposed to be friendly except when it is too foggy. It is pretty. Freezing fog? I had to know more, if only to include it in the horror novel I plan to write after the paper sends me into retirement for writing too many columns involving weather and brush.

Hey, freezing fog! Why wouldn't I write about it? I like to scare people, and freezing fog seems creepy. People care about weather and that is why I like to write about it. They fear weather and find joy in it, and sometimes both.

People should care about my love of brush burning, at least people in my hometown, because they depend on me to cause clouds of smoke that reduce the mosquito population, thus saving many lives.

But freezing fog? Apparently it is a real thing. People should care and fear. And to make things worse, it has a creepier evil brother called icy fog. I learned about icy fog while researching freezing fog.

Freezing fog is fog that remains liquid, but super cooled, until it lands on a surface where it freezes. It looks like regular fog and happens between freezing and 10 below. Ice fog happens when temperatures get down around 40 below, something that apparently only happens in Alaska, Minnesota and Atlanta.

Ice fog even sounds scary. Known out west by the charming name of pogonip, it was also called, more appropriately, white death. It was named that by early settlers who believed if you inhaled it, it would kill you. It is basically fog frozen into ice crystals, hanging in the air, waiting to murder. Okay, it probably is no more likely to kill someone than standing outside in 40-below weather, but it is bizarre.

Learning of ice fog got me wondering what other unusual things are out there waiting to terrorize us. NOAA happens to have a list of weather terms, some of which are ordinary like snow or snowier, but there is also the ever popular Fujiwhara effect, which is scary. It is two storms rotating around each other. I also learned we will soon get hit with a frog storm, which has nothing to do with reptiles. It is the first bad storm of the spring. The Fujiwhara effect and frog storm will probably find their way into my horror novel, but I might just write a children's book about Frankie the Fogbow. Fogbows are now on my bucket list of oddities I must see. They are rainbows with a white band. They appear in fog and there is red on the outside of the white band and blue on the inside.

I'll go all thundersnow and icy foggish in my horror story, but I really want to see a fogbow.
COPYRIGHT 2014 Worcester Telegram & Gazette
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2014 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Local
Author:Barnes, George
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Feb 15, 2014
Previous Article:T&G blames Obama for everything.
Next Article:Man jailed for swearing at judge; Bail ruling prompts outburst.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2019 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters