Sea Smoke

If the air is still and cold enough, great wisps of sea smoke hover and drift above the water surface. That “smoke” actually is water vapor that forms when really cold air moves over relatively warmer water and the thin boundary layer of warm air just above the surface. When the evaporating water rises, the cold air can only hold so much moisture, forcing the liquid to condense into fog. Clouds rise like smoke from the sea’s surface, dispersing and reforming, turning bays and coves into ephemeral cauldrons of submarine fire.

page of article with headline "Cold Enough Yet?"page two of article with photos of sea smokeRead the whole story of the science behind sea smoke in the Winter 2015 issue of Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors Magazine.