What you need to know, currently.
Regardless of where you live, you’ve likely seen fog before, but there’s something alarming and medieval about its character in the Bay Area — like a dead language made corporeal, hanging over a city. Ambrose Bierce once described San Francisco as “a point upon a map of fog,” and the fog’s local nickname, “Karl,” seems insulting and insufficient when viewed up close.
In the 50’s the U.S. Military conducted a covert biological warfare experiment, spraying bacteria-filled fog through two giant hoses and tracking its spread across the city. One man died and at least 11 residents checked into the hospital with strange infections. You’re going to call that fog Karl? I don’t think so.
San Francisco’s famous fog may be under threat from climate change though — although researchers still aren’t totally sure about whether the fog itself is disappearing or if it’s simply not moving onto the land with the same frequency.
“Fog has decreased, more or less everywhere,” Otto Klemm, a professor of climatology at the University of Münster, told the New York Times. “Of about 1,000 stations, 600 or 700 show a statistically significant decrease. All over Europe, all over North America, South America — everywhere.”
Still, when it does appear it can prove to be a hazard. Currently’s Managing Editor, Zaria Howell has an explainer up on fog today:
“There are more than 38,000 vehicle crashes, and 600 deaths, every year due to fog. The thick clouds can obscure even the sharpest of vision and make it hard to navigate any terrain.
The best way to stay safe is to follow a trusted weather source and keep your eyes peeled for fog forecasts. This way, you can plan your travel accordingly, around this extreme weather.”
What you can do, currently.