Great Salt Lake, moisture created Tuesday’s commuter fog and maybe Wednesday’s

Dec 6, 2022, 4:44 PM | Updated: 5:35 pm
Portions of Salt Lake County saw fog on Tuesday morning, a weather phenomenon that doesn't typicall...
The temperature of the Great Salt Lake as well as its salinity are two factors that helped create a foggy commute for some in Salt Lake County on Tuesday. (Heather Kelly, KSL NewsRadio)
(Heather Kelly, KSL NewsRadio)

SALT LAKE CITY — Fog isn’t one of the weather features that Utahns typically deal with, but as Tuesday morning commuters learned, it does appear in the Beehive state from time to time. 

And the National Weather Service said it could reappear for the Wednesday commute.

Christine Kruse with the National Weather Service told KSL NewsRadio that several factors combined to create Tuesday’s walls of fog.

“We’re seeing some of that fog partly because there’s a lot of moisture around in the lower atmosphere,” Kruse said, “and then we cooled off and we largely cleared out and allowed fog to develop across the area.”

Moisture in the air is a key element for fog. According to National Geographic, it forms when the gaseous form of water — water vapor — condenses.

Proximity to the Great Salt Lake also determines whether some Utahns experience fog, when all of the required factors are in place.

“Parts of the northwestern Salt Lake County area are right next to the Great Salt Lake, and so there’s even more moisture in the area. The lake is actually quite cold, it’s around 33 or 34 degrees. 

“So you have a nice source for fog right near that lake.”

The Great Salt Lake, although shrinking, remains one of the saltiest bodies of water in the world. That salt is another reason that fog can form near the lake. Think about famous pictures of London, or San Francisco that include dense layers of fog. What you see in those photos is sea fog, or, fog that forms as water vapor condenses on bits of salt. 

The chance for another foggy commute could come as early as Wednesday morning for some in Salt Lake County.

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Great Salt Lake, moisture created Tuesday’s commuter fog and maybe Wednesday’s