A historical review of research on sea fog is presented. The period of interest is essentially the twentieth century, beginning with the celebrated work of G. I. Taylor in the aftermath of the Titanic tragedy. It has been argued that relative maxima in fog frequency over the North Atlantic (including the British Isles and the Grand Banks of Newfoundland) and the North Pacific (including the U.S. West Coast) has led to major contributions by scientists in England and the United States. The early work (pre-World War II) tended to be phenomenological—that is, conceptual with broad inference from statistical summaries. Yet, this early work laid the foundation for the numerical modeling that came with the advent of computers in the postwar period. The subtleties associated with sea fog formation and maintenance are explored by analyzing some of the results from the numerical simulations. The essay ends with a speculative view on our prospects for a more complete understanding of sea fog in light of the earlier contributions.

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National Severe Storms Laboratory, Norman, Oklahoma, and Desert Research Institute, Reno, Nevada

Desert Research Institute, Reno, Nevada

Western Regional Climate Center, Desert Research Institute, Reno, Nevada