Sea smoke is back.
“It was dangerously cold and windy” at sunrise today, said photographer Jennifer Khordi. “Sea smoke was visible on the horizon.”
That’s due to warmer air along the ocean’s surface interacting with the bitterly cold air just above.
Delaware Sea Grant explains:
These smoky-looking plumes rising from the ocean surface can be seen when still cold air overruns the warm moist air at the sea surface. Because the surface air is so much warmer than the cold air above it, the moisture in the rising warm air quickly condenses into small water droplets (like seeing your breath on a cold day). This phenomenon is often observed in colder climates – for example in the Arctic, Antarctic, and along the coast of Maine. Autumn is the season when sea smoke is most typically observed, as cold blasts of polar air masses blow over warm Atlantic waters.
So if you’re looking for warmth, go surfing.