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Chicago, Are you Prepared for Freezing Fog?

Winter is here. Chicago experienced its first snow of the season Sunday and according to weather reports, it only gets colder from here. In fact, this week, many parts of Chicago have been warned of freezing fog. So what exactly is this phenomenon called “freezing fog”?

Fog turns into freezing fog when temperatures plummet below-freezing throughout the morning hours. Such a phenomenon occurs only when the temperature drops below freezing. The water droplets, or moisture, then freezes on whatever surface it comes into contact with.

This condition creates slippery roads situation causing cars to slid off without control. The issued warning advises drivers to keep a safe distance from the car ahead of them, so even if the vehicle goes out of control and skids, there is a lesser chance of crashing.

The National Weather Service in Chicago issued the Dense Fog Advisory around 9 a.m. Monday for McHenry, Ogle, Lee, DeKalb, Kane, LaSalle, Kendall, Grundy, Winnebago and Boone counties. It remains in effect till 1 p.m. The visibility is expected to be only up to a quarter of a mile, or even less.

Stuart Lovatt, Highways England’s head of road user safety, said: “We’re expecting patches of fog to affect the rush hour this evening and tomorrow morning, so we’re advising drivers to take care and allow extra time for their journeys. Drivers should switch their headlights on when visibility is reduced – generally when you can’t see for more than 100 meters – and use fog lights if you’re struggling to see other vehicles. You shouldn’t use your lights on full beam as the fog can reflect the light back and reduce visibility.”