I was wondering if there was a name for the effect I’ve noticed over a lake in really cold weather. You can see white wisps over it, which I think is mist from the lake rising into the air and condensing in the cold, sort of like breathing out in cold weather.
It is called frost smoke or steam fog (or a half dozen other names), sea smoke is the same effect just over the ocean.
It is caused by high moisture saturation and strong temperature differences between the water and the air. http://glossary.ametsoc.org/wiki/Steam_fog