Sunset Steam Fog Along Seagate Swash

By Henry H. Mitchell, January 2009.
Steam Fog at Myrtle Beach

A dense fog along the ground partially obscures distant homes.

Steam Fog at Myrtle Beach

Here is the source of the fog.

During a sunset walk at Myrtle Beach, my wife Patricia and I noticed the sudden formation of a ground-hugging layer of dense fog. A few more minutes of walking brought us to a good view of the source of the fog: one of Seagate Village's several creek-like swashes.

This type of ground fog is called “steam fog.” It forms when dry cold air (in this case, the air is cooling rapidly at sunset) lies over warmer water and moist ground. As rising water vapor is cooled by the air, it becomes tiny floating condensed droplets of water. If it freezes, it can cause the formation of “hoar frost.”

This steam fog is the same phenomenon as “sea smoke” (see related article).

This guide to Myrtle Beach is sponsored by Mitchells Publications.