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Boston ogling 'arctic sea smoke' over the harbor

Water that is warmer than the air leads to eery, smoky wisps.

The National Weather Service tweeted this picture of "arctic sea smoke" over the BostNational Weather Service

Viciously cold weather Sunday morning may have given Boston a pretty good excuse to spend Valentine’s Day indoors, but it also brought with it an eerie, smoky layer over Boston Harbor.

Those among us brave enough to venture outside —or those lucky enough to have a harbor view — on Sunday were ogling the rolling wisps of fog emerging from the water.


So what is it?

“Arctic sea smoke,” according to the National Weather Service, who explained the phenomenon to the Boston Globe.

“It’s well below zero here going out over the water, and the water temperature is about 40 degrees,” said meteorologist Alan Dunham with the National Weather Service. “That cold air over the warmer water goes ahead and condenses some of the water vapor evaporating over the water, and that gives you your arctic sea smoke.”

 

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