What is Mist?

Mist is actually thousands of small water droplets or ice crystals held in the air, close to the earth’s surface. In reality, mist and fog are types of clouds, but the term ‘cloud’ generally implies that the body is floating in the atmosphere as opposed to hovering just above the ground. Also, the moisture in the mist or fog is most often from a local lake, ocean or marsh, while clouds are formed by moisture in the air. Mist can occur naturally, or as a manufactured phenomenon, such as in a sauna or with aerosol cans in the right humidity.  In nature, it is common in cold air above warmer water, or as a result of a volcanic eruption. It is most often found on shorelines, but it can be seen as high as mountain tops if extreme temperatures are low enough.

The difference between fog and mist is visibility. The occurrence is called fog when clear sight is obscured from one kilometer away, or less. The word ‘haze’ usually refers to murky air which is polluted by dust or other substances which effect visibility. When seen from far, haze has a dirty brown or yellow color, as opposed to mist which appears as bluish.


Angie is a home health nurse who has been working with patients for over 20 years. In her free time, she enjoys dabbling in the stock market, taking spinning classes, cooking and gardening. She loves being the editor at Sunstone. Reach her at angie[at]sunstoneonline.com

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