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July-August 2015

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Weather Front

Urban Sprawl Clears the Skies of Fog

In Coastal California, the urban heat island effect is doing more than just warming the nights; it's lifting the foggy morning gloom. During the coolest part of the night and early morning, the hard, dark surfaces of urban landscapes release heat absorbed during the previous day back into the atmosphere. Warm, rising air lifts the layer of cool humid ocean air responsible for foggy Southern California mornings. Instead of a misty fog forming on the ground, a low cloud layer forms in the sky.      

KIMBRA CUTLIP is a freelance writer and former assistant editor for Weatherwise.       

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