A heavy fog will descend on the central San Joaquin Valley tomorrow morning, potentially reducing roads in Merced County to extremely low visibility, according to the National Weather Service.
Starting at about midnight, the NWS expects heavy fog to envelope most of Merced County from the eastern edge to the Los Banos area, NWS meteorologist Brian Ochs said.
"Visibility could be less than 300 feet, and it could even be near zero in a few places," Ochs said, noting that the clear skies today and moist lower level atmosphere could make for a longer fog than has been seen this winter.
The fog and low visibility should linger until about 10 a.m. tomorrow morning, Ochs said, when the fog could give way to low-hanging clouds.
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Visibility is usually the worst at lower elevations like the Valley floor, Ochs said, while it's less in higher elevations like near Yosemite National Park or west on Pacheco Pass.
The heavy fog is one of the most dangerous times on the roadway, California Highway Patrol Officer Eric Zuniga said.
"You have to be patient," Zuniga said. "Don't try to pass blindly and don't stop on the freeway."
Zuniga said there are several things motorists should do to stay safe during heavy fog.
- Reduce speed
- Drive with low-beam lights on; Don't assume daylight lights are enough
- While stopped at intersections, turn off music, lower windows and listen for traffic
- Use wipers and defrosters to see better
- If involved in a collision, move the vehicle off the roadway and notify 911