Advection Fog on the Oregon Coast

Outdoor Hour Challenge

Handbook of Nature Study –
Summer Nature Study
Using Your Senses: Nature Study at Sundown –
Weather – Take Two


Yesterday I sat down to sum up our Weather Summer Study – and realized that I had been the only one talking about it.  The boys gave a nod and a grin and an uh-huh, so I wrote a post based on my observations . . . . . I gave Nate the assignment to track the temperatures throughout the day and write/draw about weather in his notebook.

That’s when it happened.  Another example of Unschooling.  Change. Something Unexpected. Out of the Ordinary – created a need for explanation – created a learning opportunity. We needed to look up information to explain what we had seen.  Journey through an Unschooling Experience with us if you will . .  . .

Boring Facts – The Set Up:

We were informed on the TV that we would receive unseasonably warm weather for  3-4 days, topping 100 degrees as a high pressure system sat on the coast, forcing the northern cooler air to go through Canada – and allowing the system of warm HOT air from the south to travel north and move on shore in Oregon.

The first day was great – 95 degree temps throughout the day at our home that is located slightly east of the Pacific Ocean.  Warm lake swimming – sun bathing, pink noses and flowers blooming like crazy. We stopped at the beach on the way home from a BBQ supply run to the store and stayed on the windy cold foggy beach for about all of 5 minutes, and came back home to the heat.

Day two was a bit more upside down in temps – Which is the day that Nate was keeping track with me.

70 Degrees at 6am; 95 Degrees at 9:30 am; 85 Degrees at noon, and then a drop to 60 Degrees at 4, and a drop to 55 Degrees at 6 pm.

To top off our known information, a friend was visiting from the Valley an hour inland – and she verified that the temperature had dropped 15 degrees that morning when she moved from Hwy 18 to Hwy 101.  She verified again the temperature rise on the way home that evening after 6.

Why?  This morning we have a Weather Advisory of Heat.  But it’s foggy.  Why?

Advection Fog

Advection- The horizontal transportation of things like heat, humidity, salinity, polytants and silt.

Have you seen the beautiful pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge with the fog underneath?  Advection Fog.

Temperature in the Shade on the Deck mid morning:
advection fog heat index
Temperature at the Beach at 4pm
advection fog cold air temperature
Good thing we have jackets in the car!advection fog beach

The view west at Taft/Siletz Bay – usually waves –
I bet the travelers from Portland
are glad for a “Hot” day at the beach . . .

advection fog siletz bay

It’s no Golden Gate Bridge Advection Fog Photograph –
but it is the View from BiMart to the 55 Degrees at Mc’D’s just a mile or so south of Hwy 18 where it was hovering around 80 degrees.

    advection fog low visiblity lincoln city

Boys a bit disappointed at how cold it was – and the tide pools are getting covered up by the summer shifting sands.  advection fog beach - Copy

It wasn’t this bright – I added some highlights so you could see the pretty wave. :)  advection fog pacific ocean

This morning –

We did a study on the
Types of Fog
<<Click Here for NOAA’s Definitions>>

Evaporation Fog is one of my favorites – We see it alot here in the mornings, when the heat of the water is warmer than the coolness of the morning – and the mist forms on top of the lake – which packs into a fog. <<Pics of Sunrise Fog Here from our Lake Schooling Blog>>

Radiation Fog is what we are used to seeing – From moisture rising from the cooling earth, creating humidity and Fog – it is what you experience in the evening inland.

Advection Fog – is created when Warm Air is transported horizontally over cold water.  Fog is created that pushes up into the shore, and is burned off in the heat that is inland.

sketch of advection of over pacific
We learned that it’s not just a “sunny day warm” that creates the fog – but the traveling of the warm air over cold water side to side, not just radiating downward.

  advection fog sketch

We read about how the Redwood Trees are dependant on the Advection Fog for moisture.

 advection fog sketch (2)

Jon drew a picture of a car with headlights to show how hard it was to drive on Highway 101 yesterday.


Which led to the conversation and questions of where did the warm air come from? What happened to the cold northern air? Where do they go? Where do they meet? What happens when they meet? and on and on for about an hour.   I showed them an entry from the Pioneer Woman today – as she was contemplating Ding Dongs and Storm Shelters – Check out her photos today of what happens in the middle when all of this chaos meets up. 🙂meteorology sketch 

So – to answer the never ending question of what do you do all day if you unschool and don’t use curriculum – How many hours do you spend in school each day – How do you expect them to learn if you don’t use books –

We spent yesterday intentionally observing the weather all day, using the weather knowledge previously attained. Then we saw weather patterns that didn’t fit into what we could explain. So we  um. Looked it up?

The boys drew photographs of what they had learned, and each gave an oral presentation to dad until dad knew what Advection was.

We also threw in a little phonogram lesson and tried to come up with all of the  . . .tion words we could think of – mixing up a few sion words for fun.

I’m glad it’s summer and we don’t have to “do” school . . . .cause then I would have encouraged the boys to write paragraphs about the weather, instead of just drawing.> . . . . . .

Until next time we can’t explain something . . . . .

About +Angie Wright

The Transparent Thoughts of an Unschooling Family of Boys - Answering the question - What DO you DO all day?
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13 Responses to Advection Fog on the Oregon Coast

  1. Pingback: Wind at the Beach | Petra School

  2. Pingback: Advection Fog « Petra School

  3. Kelsey says:

    Wow! Thanks for sharing your nature studies! I also love it when something comes up that the kids really want to learn about. I love the expressions of interest on their faces.

  4. Quinn says:

    What a fascinating and detailed study!! I am blown away by the temperature difference you mentioned. I just read the words advection fog about 2 hours ago for the first time. I kid you not. So fascinating to see it in action so to speak. I’ll have to share this post with my son when he wakes up in the morning.

  5. Phyllis says:

    Great nature study (as always!). I love the sketches! You are so very thorough.

  6. Another great study! Wow. We are into cumulonimbus around here. a.k.a. afternoon pop up thunderstorm. Love those tall clouds!

  7. Angie says:

    Hi! I am following you from the TOS Crew. Please follow me back at I look forward to working with you this year! 🙂

  8. hopewellmomschoolagain says:

    This looks really interesting! Thanks!

  9. Just wanted to pop over to share a blog award for you and your blog:

    Thanks for all your great entries.

  10. Suzanne says:

    I’m glad you shared – never knew there were different types of fog before. That’s one think I love about homeschooling – I get to learn (or re-learn) all these things I either didn’t care about when I was younger or never was taught or didn’t retain. 🙂

  11. Honey says:

    Honey? What’s Advection Fog? Go talk to Pebble Keeper…she knows! 😉

    Wow…that’s amazing…nearly a 50 degree drop from home to shore…really cool! (pun not intended! 😉 )

    Is Oregon always cold like that? What are winter temps on average? Happy to see our 100degrees has dropped to 80degrees now that the storms moved in.

    Brrr…55 during summer…brrr….makes me appreciate the heat I was whining about earlier!


    • pebblekeeper says:

      We are pretty much 60 year round at some part of the day – be it a high or a low, but just on the coast. I can see the fog line today is just on the other side of the street. We came from Central Oregon in the Mountains – and it seemed like it had two temperatures 22 degrees or 96. I like this better. 🙂

  12. Awesome. We have been doing the same thing not with fog but afternoon thundercloud build up over the Sierras. Every afternoon the clouds get taller and taller and bigger and bigger. We pretty much did the same sorts of diagrams you did but instead of the ocean, we used the Sacramento Valley and the Sierra Nevadas to explain how and why we get clouds.

    I love that each environment has interesting unique things to learn about. My friend in southern Arizona has been teaching me about their summer monsoons….so very interesting.

    Anyway, I really enjoyed your entry and your photos.


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