Fog is a common weather phenomenon that can create low-level turbulence and icing conditions. Fog occurs when liquid water is suspended in air as tiny water droplets.
There are several types of fog, including radiation fog, advection fog, evaporation fog, and steam fog. Each type has different conditions that contribute to its formation.
Radiation fog occurs when the land or sea temperature is cooler than the air above it. Advection fog occurs when warm air moves over a cool surface, such as the sea. Evaporation fog occurs when moisture in the air condenses into tiny water droplets as it cools.
All of these fogs can become hazardous if they are encountered at the proper altitude and duration. This article will discuss how to identify these fogs and how to avoid them or respond to them.
What causes low-level turbulence?
Low-level turbulence occurs when air passes over an object. As the air moves past the object, it becomes disturbed and moves in different directions.
The shape of the object impacts how the air moves as it passes over it. For example, if a plane flew very close to the ground, its wings would create turbulence as it passed over the ground.
Turbulence can also occur when two masses of air collide. When this happens, the air that passed over the object or through it is disturbed and moves in different directions.
Depending on how strong the wind is, this turbulence can be more or less dangerous. If the wind is very strong, then the plane may have a hard time staying in place, but it will not crash because of turbulence.
It can make landing difficult, however.
What are the signs of low-level turbulence?
Pilots watch for signs of low-level turbulence as they fly, and alert other pilots if they see it. If you’re a pilot, you also have to watch for it when you’re on the ground.
If you’re on the ground and see someone else’s aircraft shake, that could be a sign of low-level turbulence. If you see drooping grass or trees near the runway, that could indicate the same thing.
If there is a lot of wind at ground level, that may be a sign of low-level turbulence as well. If you hear gunfire or explosions nearby, get into your vehicle and go to safety as quickly as possible. These are all signs of danger and can mean the difference between life and death.
What type of fog causes icing conditions?
Fog, or a reduction in visibility due to condensation, can be caused by many factors. These factors include humidity, temperature, and the type of precipitation that falls onto the ground.
When precipitation falls onto the ground and then temperatures drop to below the dew point, fog will form. This is because water molecules in the air cannot attach to something on the ground or an object such as a plane.
Therefore, it accumulates on tiny particles on the ground, such as dust or sand. When these particles warm up slightly due to sunlight or heat from a source such as a plane, moisture will drip off of them. This makes visibility lower and creates a thin layer of fog.
In addition to this common fog, drier fog can occur due to high atmospheric stability. This means that there are less disturbances in the atmosphere that would cause convection and thus rain or snowfall.
What should I do if encountering low-level turbulence?
If you experience low-level turbulence, try to keep your body relaxed and still. Try not to move your hands or feet, nor jerk or rotate your body.
It is also advised to keep your hands on the wheel and don’t attempt any maneuvers until the turbulence has subsided.
Remember that this kind of turbulence occurs very quickly, so it is hard to avoid it. You can only do your best to stay calm and still until it passes.
If possible, check on your crew members to see if they experienced any jolts or shakes, as they may have not been able to keep still like you did.
Check for any injured crew members after doing this and report any injuries to senior officers immediately.
What should I do if encountering icing conditions?
If you encounter icing conditions, the best thing to do is land immediately. If that is not an option, then try to get to a warmer climate where the frost will melt and be less of a threat.
Icing can be very dangerous and even deadly if not taken seriously. The best way to prevent damage or death is by recognizing the symptoms early on.
If you are in a plane and feel a sudden loss of speed, that is a red flag. If you feel bumps or hear crunches or cracking, that is another red flag. If you see white flakes outside the window, yet no snow on the ground, that is a big red flag!
Remember these tips and pass them on to your fellow pilots and aviation workers to help reduce the number of fatalities due to icing conditions.
How can I tell the temperature of the air around me?
Visible air temperature is the temperature that we can see indicated by a thermometer. This is what we typically refer to as the temperature.
However, temperatures are actually measured in something called mean radiant temperature (MRT). This is the average of all temperatures of all molecules (gas) in the air.
To get the visible air temperature, you have to add a certain number to MRT due to the fact that air cools when it contacts other surfaces (land or water). This added number varies depending on what surface it meets and what time of day it is.
Because of this, visibility may be different than what the thermometer reads! It is important to know how to interpret both of these numbers in order to better protect yourself against adverse weather conditions.
What are some tips for flying in bad weather?
Pilots advise staying up to date on weather reports and warnings, and being aware of what weather systems are in your area.
You should also be aware of what types of fog exist, how they can affect your flight, and what safety precautions you should take depending on the type of fog you encounter.
Dense fog is considered a reduced visibility observation with a horizontal visibility of less than 1/8 mile. Nighttime dense fog is considered a minimum visibility of 1/8 mile or less. These conditions require landing lights to be on for the approach and landing.
Saturated or shallow layer fog occurs when warm moist air comes into contact with a surface that is colder than itself. This results in water droplets forming and lingering until the sun rises and warms the air above it. Shallow layer fog requires landing lights to be on for the approach and landing.
How can I tell if there is an area of turbulent air near me?
If you are in an area of fog and you notice that the air around you feels rougher than normal, this may be a sign of incipient turbulence. The same can be said if you notice droplets of water on the aircraft exterior, as this means that the aircraft has flown through visible moisture, which is a sign that it has left smooth air and entered turbulent air.
Another indication of incipient turbulence is a sudden drop in noise level. Because the air is no longer smooth, sounds from the engines and other parts of the aircraft will not travel as far. This is why pilots always turn on the cabin speaker when they detect incipient turbulence- to alert passengers to grab their safety belts!
Turbulence can also occur in stratiform or layered fog. Because these layers of fog are not uniform, there can be areas of higher or lower pressure underneath them. If there is a spot of lower pressure underneath the fog layer, then condensation may not form above that area- known as a warm hole- causing reduced visibility.