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3 Answers

Aviation Weather: Mist vs Fog

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Private Pilot, Student Pilot

How does the aviation weather center determine the classification of mist and fog?

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3 Answers

  1. Lucas on Jul 14, 2012

    Fog is a cloud bank that touches the ground. Fog is usually the only type of cloud that can touch the ground. The same cloud that at see level is not fog may be fog where it contacts higher ground such as hilltops or mountain ridges.
    Mist is a phenomenon of small droplets suspended in air. It can occur as part of a natural weather phenomenon, or in volcanic activity, and is common in cold air above warmer water. For example when you exhale in the cold air of a winter storm, or the effects of a steam room of a sauna.
    The only difference between mist and fog is density and its effect on visibility. A cloud that reduces visibility to less than 3/4 of a statute mile a is called fog, whereas it’s called mist if visibility is grater than 3/4 of a statute mile

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  2. Kris Kortokrax on Jul 14, 2012

    Close, but not quite.
    AIM Figure 7-1-23 shows the break point as 5/8 of a statute mile, not 3/4.

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  3. Jim Foley on Jul 14, 2012

    And, doesn’t fog have to be within 50 ft. of the ground, otherwise it’s a cloud?

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