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Fog is a visible aerosol consisting of tiny water droplets or ice crystals suspended in the air at or near the Earth's surface. Fog can be considered a type of low-lying cloud usually resembling stratus, and is heavily influenced by nearby bodies of water, topography, and wind conditions. In turn, fog affects many human activities, such as shipping, travel, and warfare.
Fog appears when water vapor (water in its gaseous form) condenses. During condensation, molecules of water vapor combine to make tiny liquid water droplets that hang in the air. Sea fog, which shows up near bodies of saline water, is formed as water vapor condenses on bits of salt. Fog is similar to, but less transparent than, mist.
The term fog is typically distinguished from the more generic term cloud in that fog is low-lying, and the moisture in the fog is often generated locally (such as from a nearby body of water, like a lake or the ocean, or from nearby moist ground or marshes).
By definition, fog reduces visibility to less than 1 km (0.62 mi), whereas mist causes lesser impairment of visibility.
For aviation purposes in the United Kingdom, a visibility of less than 5 km (3.1 mi) but greater than 999 m (3,278 ft) is considered to be mist if the relative humidity is 95% or greater; below 95%, haze is reported.
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