I have always been fascinated by fog and mist. I love it when it is foggy (as long as I don’t have to drive in it!) And I find the mist rising up off the surface of a lake interesting, too, as it twists in the gentle breezes, here for a moment and then gone again.
But what causes it? Here’s what National Geographic says about mist (and it’s close relative, fog):
Mist often forms when warmer air over water suddenly encounters the cooler surface of land. However, mist can also form when warm air from land suddenly encounters cooler air over the ocean. This is the cause of the summer fog in San Francisco, California. You can even create mist yourself, as you probably know, when you exhale the warm air from your body into the cold air.
Mist is a lot like its cousin, fog. The difference between the two depends on how well you can see. Mist is less dense than fog. If you can’t see beyond one kilometer (two-thirds of a mile) in front of you, it’s fog that’s clouding your vision. If you can see more than that, it’s just mist.
I shot this photo last week at the lake here by the place we are staying. It was morning and the sun was just hitting the trees in the background.
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1944, two liquid gas tanks explode in Cleveland, Ohio, killing 130 people, on this day in 1944. It took all of the city’s firefighters to bring the resulting industrial fire under control.
At 2:30 p.m., laboratory workers at the East Ohio Gas Company spotted white vapor leaking from the large natural gas tank at the company plant near Lake Erie. The circular tank had a diameter of 57 feet and could hold 90 million cubic feet of the highly flammable gas. Ten minutes later, a massive and violent explosion rocked the entire area. Flames went as high as 2,500 feet in the air. Everything in a half-mile vicinity of the explosion was completely destroyed.
Shortly afterwards, a smaller tank also exploded. The resulting out-of-control fire necessitated the evacuation of 10,000 people from the surrounding area. Every firefighting unit in Cleveland converged on the East Ohio Gas site. It still took nearly an entire day to bring the fire under control. When the flames went out, rescue workers found that 130 people had been killed by the blast and nearly half of the bodies were so badly burned that they could not be identified. Two hundred and fifteen people were injured and required hospitalization.
The explosion had destroyed two entire factories, 79 homes in the surrounding area and more than 200 vehicles. The total bill for damages exceeded $10 million. The cause of the blast had to do with the contraction of the metal tanks: The gas was stored at temperatures below negative 250 degrees and the resulting contraction of the metal had caused a steel plate to rupture.
Newer and safer techniques for storing gas and building tanks were developed in the wake of this disaster.
TRIVIA FOR TODAY: Hawaii is the only state that is not geographically located in North America, is completely surrounded by water, and does not have a straight line in its state boundary.