Difference Between Fog and Mist


Main Difference

The main difference between Fog and Mist is that Fog formed by the condensation of water vapors to become water droplets and become suspended in air, whereas the Mist is also the suspension of water molecules but with low density.

Fog vs. Mist

Fog is the condition in which water droplets become suspended in the surface layers of the atmosphere and cause the problem to visibility. Mist also cause difficulty for visibility, but its extent is very low, and it forms due to the suspension of water droplets in the air on the ground level.

The fog has a denser nature and shows a great effect on visibility. The mist has lesser dense nature and affects visibility to a lesser extent than fog. The fog allows visualization in an area of less than 1 kilometer (Km) even less than 100 meters. Mist obscured visibility in the area of 1 km or more than 1 km.


Fog can become denser by the additions of smoke and dust particles. The mist can change conditions with the change in humidity and temperature. Fog needs more time to disappear and remains for a long time. The mist has a short duration of existence and can dissipate very quickly. Fog shows more resilience to dissipating factors like wind, sun heat, etc. while mist shows very low resilience and disappears in seconds.

Fog can be dangerous for humankind it becomes the cause of road traffic accidents and boating accidents. Mist is less hazardous. The fog conditions prefer the use of headlights of the vehicles when you are driving to have a safe journey, while for mist although visibility is more than fog, the use of headlights and driving at low speed is safe.


Comparison Chart

The clouds are having thick nature, formed of water molecules hanged in the air near the earth’s surfaceThe water molecules suspended in air due to the sudden change in temperature and humidity
Highly dense natureLow-density level
Things are visible in the area of one kilometerThings can become visible in the area of almost two kilometers or more
Commonly exists for a long periodIt exists for a shorter period
More resilient to disappearing factors, i.e., air and heat from the sunIt can disappear easily in the presence of light and heat of the sun
The fog has different types depending upon the compositionCannot categorize in types

What is the Fog?

Fog is formed when the air becomes saturated and results in the immediate cooling of the water vapors to form the visible water droplets. They are the water particles that are hanging near the surface of the earth. The fog has some features of clouds like weather, and climatic has an impact on the fog formation.

The formation of fog depends upon many factors and so that it can classify into some categories. Types of fog are upslope fog, freezing fog and hail fog. The formation of fog due to the air arise from the mountains’ slope is called upslope fog. The encounter of cool water molecules with the surface causes the formation of freezing fog. Hail fog found in the areas where hale is present, and it can cause the change in temperature, i.e., lower the temperature and moisture, i.e., increase the moisture level.

The fog has the densest nature, so it has a greater effect on visibility. The high density of fog is responsible for the reduction of visibility to an of less than one kilometer. The difference in the conditions of fog formation can also affect the visibility, e.g., the change in humidity, the blend of smoke can make fog denser, and the visibility can reduce to 100 meters or less.

The fog remains for a long duration and does not disappear quickly. The resilience ability of fog is very strong and can resist dissipating factors for a long time. It does not dissipate quickly with few winds and the sun heat. Fog can be hazardous for humanity while they are driving or traveling.

What is the Mist?

Mist is the natural atmospheric event in which the water vapors suspended in the air dispersed into the environment at the earth’s surface. The sudden cooling of hot air can be a reason for the creation of mist, and this can form artificially. The mist can happen when a person exhales the warm breath in the cool weather because the mist formed when the hot air comes in contact with the cool temperature so it cannot be further categorized.

Mist is less dense than the fog, and it has improved visibility than the fog. In the mist, it can be possible that the person can see in more than one-kilometer area. According to the scientists, the fog can be described by the visibility in the area of less than one kilometer, and mist has visibility of at least two kilometers.

Mist can dissipate more quickly because it has less density and has a low resistance to disappearing factors like air and sun heat. A light wind can dissipate mist in a few seconds. The mist considered less dangerous than fog because it allows visibility in almost 1.5 to 2 km area.

Key Differences

  1. Fog is a dense and flat cloud formed from small water molecules and become suspended in the air near the surface of the earth; on the other hand, mist is the suspension of the small molecules of water into the air.
  2. The fog has a greater extent of density and generates a hazy shadow that disturbs the visibility, while mist shows the lesser extent of density than the fog.
  3. Fog reduces the visibility level below than 0.6 miles or less than one kilometer; conversely, mist covers the area of 2 kilometers or 1.2 miles.
  4. The duration of the existence of fog is longer, and it takes time to disappear it can remain for some minutes, or hours to disappear, relatively mist has a short duration of existence and can disappear more quickly with some winds.
  5. The fog is more resilient to the disappearing factors, e.g., sunlight and breeze, etc. Comparatively, the mist can evaporate re rapidly as quick as in few seconds or minutes.


The conclusion is that Fog and Mist differ from each other in there formation and visibility, density, and origin. If the visibility is less than one kilometer, then it is Fog. And if it is greater than two-kilometer that will be known as Mist.

Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson