Why Can You Hear Better On Foggy Days?

Tools

By By Steve Pool

SEATTLE - Go outside next time it's really foggy in the morning and have a friend stand some distance away. Every notice that you can hear him better? Or that you can hear distant sounds better (such as a train horn or a jet engine?)

That's because water is much better at transmitting sound than air is. And on our foggy days, the air is completely saturated with water droplets, making it easier for sound waves to be transmitted through the air. (Think about that next time you're whispering behind someone's back on a foggy day!)

It's also why foghorns were an effective way of communicating with ships offshore -- the foghorn sounds get transmitted further in thick fog.

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