Saturday, February 5, 2011

Frozen Fog

American Goldfinch

My bird feeders were full of goldfinches, Tree Sparrows, juncos and chickadees this morning.   I could see crows flying along the treetops along County Road K.   The sun was shining and the sky was blue.

No overnight snow.  No ice.  A perfect day to get out and watch birds.

In the time it took to make a cup of coffee, the weather changed.   The blue sky disappeared.  The coulees and farm fields had been obliterated by a blanket of fog.

How does that happen?  I had to look it up:  According to the AMS, fog occurs when the dew point (the temperature at which the air is saturated) and air temperature are the same (this morning both were 21˚F) and visibility is less than 5/8 mile.

Visibility in Maxville Wisconsin this morning
The same view on a sunny day

When the temperature drops below 32˚F,  freezing fog can occur.

Frozen fog on Red Pines

While today's winter fog wasn't as dramatic as what we experienced last January, it was enough to get me outside with my camera.

A Red-tailed Hawk in Freezing Fog

The fog was as thick as pea soup.

But we managed to spot a trio of Horned Larks over by Stai Coulee, several Red-tailed Hawks and Bald Eagles hunkered down in trees along County M and Wild Turkeys in the fields and trees along Rustic Road 107.

By noon the fog had lifted.  But the sky was gray and snow is in the forecast.

Will Punxsutawney Phil, the groundhog prognosticator, get it right this year... only 6 more weeks of winter?

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