Eugene, Oregon’s 10 day cold snap ended Thursday with a warming rain. Granted, 40 degrees F is not warm by West Coast standards. But following 10 days of temperatures below freezing, the rain was welcomed by most of those residing on the southern end of the Willamette Valley.
There’s an old saying in Eugene…” If you don’t like the weather, wait a minute, it will change.” The weather events of early January unconditionally support that statement. According to the National Weather Service, January 2013 has been unseasonably dry. In this writer’s decade in residency, the ten days of “freezing rain” was a first. Even the 'old timers' found it difficult to fend off the cold.
Do not try this at home: For those that have not experienced an extended freezing fog, open your kitchen freezer door, and stick your head in it for a second or two. Now, add 100% humidity and zero visibility to the environment. This is what freezing fog looks and feels like. Deadly to drive in, chilling to the bone!
Freezing fog 101: A low atmospheric pressure layer combined with 100% humidity and below freezing temperatures, can create a lingering ground fog. Without ample air movement the fog will freeze.
This weather cycle is extended by the reflective layer of fog; effectively shielding the earth from the sun’s warming rays.
Due to the extreme low temperature and moisture added to the lower atmosphere and ground mass, the fog freezes and builds in layers on all that it touches.
Trees and shrubs take on the look of snow cover without actual snow fall.
At 100% humidity, 30 degrees feels like zero.