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Cooler Weather Brings More Fog Dangers to Region

Fog
Visibility along north Kansas Expressway Monday morning/Credit: Scott Harvey

Unusually thick fog Monday morning offered visibility of less than an eighth of a mile in some areas of the Ozarks. KSMU’s Scott Harvey has more.

Andy Boxell, meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Springfield, says widespread fog hasn’t been this dense in “quite some time across the area,” and is seen maybe a handful of times a year. The agency’s sensors will indicate when visibly falls to a quarter of a mile.

“They really don’t have the ability to go actually go much lower than about a quarter of a mile. So we’ve really kind of maxed them all out this morning in most spots,” Boxell said.

At this level, officials urge drivers to give themselves some extra space between cars and use their low beams.

Records by the Missouri Department of Transportation show that in 2011, the latest data available, there were less than 1,000 car accidents on state roads due to fog. But Boxell cautions that motorists not take the dangers for granted.

“It tends to occur in times when we have light winds and otherwise no precipitation usually falling in most cases, so it can certainly be a quiet hazard, if you will, out there.”

Boxell adds that this time of year, as well as early spring, is when we’ll start to see more fog in the morning, which can tend to burn off slower due to lower sun angles.