Watch: Sea smoke flows over Lake Superior - WNEM TV 5

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Watch: Sea smoke flows over Lake Superior

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The Great Lakes are always fascinating, especially this time of the year.

In the winter months, they give us plenty of lake-effect snow, which can be inconvenient and even dangerous. At the same time, those lakes can provide a nice buffer from air that is even colder to our west.

In addition to those two things, occasionally we can see "sea smoke" which was spotted on Lake Superior on Tuesday. You can see that video attached above!

How Does Sea Smoke Form?

Sea smoke or sea fog, occurs when bitterly cold air like we've been seeing the past few days moves over relatively warmer water. For reference, Lake Superior water temperatures are still in the 30s, while temperatures around the state have mostly been stuck in the single digits. 

Water that evaporates from that warmer surfaces into the colder air above, adds water vapor to that air, increasing its humidity. Once the dew point temperature is reached, that air condenses, forming fog, often taking a wispy appearance. 

This usually occurs in the late fall and early winter when the water is still relatively warm compared to the colder air masses that pass through. 

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