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Ice Fog Blankets Proctor

By Staff | Feb 10, 2016

Wetzel County resident G.F. Headley captured these images of ice fog blanketing the ground in Wetzel County the morning of Feb. 2.

PROCTOR?- Residents of the Proctor area might have been a bit surprised the morning of Tuesday, Feb. 2 to wake up to a unique sight – a sparkling, diamond-like coating on the ground.

The weather event was not, as one might assume it to be, frost. Nor, was it snow. This special phenomenon was actually ice fog.

Fred McMullen and John Darnley, both of the National Weather Service, were both able to shed some light on the interesting occurrence. McMullen credited the weather event to a difference in temperature.

“It’s basically a contrast in the ground temperature and air temperature,” he explained. “You have to have one of them (the temperatures) freezing.”

Darnley noted that the air temperature on Feb. 1 was a mild 59 degrees. There was then a 20 degree drop by midnight. However, according to Darnley, the temperature was 42 degrees again by 11 a.m. on Feb. 2.

“The ice fog would’ve been gone by around 7 a.m. to 8 a.m.,” he stated. “The air was super cooled,” Darnley explained. “When you have that, you get what is like little diamonds developing. They are suspended in the air. They then collect condensation nuclei. It falls to the ground, giving it a light coating.”

Darnley noted the area was on the “backside of the high.” “That’s what you would expect to develop,” he noted.