A couple of years ago, I stumbled across a saying in a musty, old Farmers Almanac. The adage gave credence to the notion that the foggy days of August could foretell the severity of the upcoming winter season. For this neck of the woods, the foggy days predict the amount of snowy days we should expect. Although it is not scientific by any stretch of the imagination, the last two years of data seemed to be not far off from actual winter conditions.
So with this being August 1st, I will again be logging the fog conditions for the month on a day-by-day basis and reporting the findings on this site. With our incredible dry and hot summer, I am rooting for lots of foggy days during the month.
Sounds easy, doesn’t it? But I sensed trouble once I started watching, I began to notice how fog can be different from day to day or even differ with the areas that I am watching. I now see that our little valley is a catch-all for a variety of free roaming, devil-may-care, fog clouds.
Some love to hover along the hilltops in playful patches, while others dip down into the grass fields to pool in the dips and swales. Many times, heavy fog blankets the farm only to be burned off as quickly as the sun rises above the tree line, or fog can form on the dark side of the hill while the east facing side has no fog at all. The house seems to be the line of demarcation on these days. Looking out the kitchen side of the house, the world seems shrouded, while walking a couple paces and peering out from the front room not a trace of fog can be spotted.
I tend to make up my own rules while monitoring the August fog, which may be why the numbers seem to match with what winter has in store. That fact won’t deter me from my official/unofficial tally and reporting.
Here are a few of my guidelines:
- Fog that can be seen on both sides of the house and lasts past noon is considered a foggy day.
- Heavy fog is the term if the hillside, either east or west, is obscured from view.
- East facing or west facing fog is noted if only one half of the valley is experiencing the fickle clouds.
- I try to chart when the fog burned off for the day to determine if it actually is a foggy day or just a foggy morning.
- If I am away from the farm for a couple of days, my husband is in charge of the chart. (This needs a special notation because he is willing to look for fog to appease my highly-suspect endeavor, but his charting will only say fog or no fog since he is incapable of seeing the finer points of my fog-gazing.) ((I do not hold this against him, it is his nature and is as fickle as the fog. It’s simply one of those wildcards that I have to deal with ALL my life. Not that I am complaining.))