The National Weather Service issued a dense fog advisory Tuesday night that will last into Wednesday morning, according to Meteorologist Dan Sobien.
The fog will be the thickest near the coast in Pinellas County, Sobien said. But conditions are also favorable for the fog to make it well inland by mid-morning.
The advisory itself will expire at 9 a.m., though the weather service could extend it if necessary. The Coast Guard also issued an advisory to boaters, Sobien said, closing off some waterways in Tampa Bay.
The Florida Highway Patrol issued a warning to drivers who plan to cross the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, which had low visibility Tuesday evening that’s expected to remain into Wednesday’s morning commute.
Fog has been in the forecast throughout Pinellas County for the past two weeks. That comes as no surprise to Sobien, who said that late January is one of the most common time of the year for fog to form in coastal Tampa Bay as we start experiencing slightly warmer weather.
The type of fog present this month is called sea fog, he said. It forms whenever moist air enters the region from the tropics and is significantly warmer than the water in Gulf of Mexico.
When the warmer air makes it over the cooler water, the water cools the air to its dew point temperature, causing the air to saturate.
Tampa International Airport did not appear to be affected by the fog on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, Sobien said. He said that St. Pete–Clearwater International Airport is likely in the clear, too, though it and Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport are more at risk because of their proximity to the coast.