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Features May 2013 Issue

West Coast Fog Monster

This beast is with us most of the year, wreaking havoc on coastal airports. You can live with it more peacefully if you understand some basics.

Fog along the West Coast of the United States has been documented as far back as the arrival of the Spaniards in the 16th century. Ship captains in later years learned to take it seriously; 100 years ago when the Marine Exchange in San Francisco was asked what proportion of coastal shipwrecks were the result of fog, the reply was “All of them.” Even today, aircraft pilots at coastal airports find themselves trying to stay…

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