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Blame an inversion for the foggy weather

Fog obscures the horses in this North Okanagan pasture. The morning fog and haze will be with us in the Thompson-Okanagan for the next week to ten days according to Environment Canada.
Image Credit: Charlotte Helston
October 21, 2013 - 12:13 PM


KELOWNA – We expect to get some fog in the fall in the Thompson-Okanagan, but it seems like someone forgot to turn off the fog machine.

It turns out we're stuck in a weather inversion.

“A strong ridge of upper pressure is behind the inversion,” Environment Canada meteorologist Doug Lundquist says.

An inversion traps the moist air and pollutants close to the ground.

Since late last week, our weather has been repeating the same pattern. The fog and haze builds up overnight and into the morning, then burns off as the day wears on.

Because the sun is low and the extra moisture isn’t getting a chance to burn off completely, the cycle is repeated.

As well, with no wind to stir things up, the air kind of looks yucky, saying Lundquist.

The good news is the particulate matter in the air isn’t abnormally high. But the particles of dust, exhaust and other pollutants that are there are making things look hazy as you stare into the distance.

“The numbers are not very high,” Lundquist says. “But the extra moisture wants to glob onto the particulate matter that’s there.”

“It looks worse than it is.”

The inversion started building after the rainfall last week. Lundquist expects it to last for the next week to seven days. Although he adds it won’t take much to break it up.

Even a small system of unstable air could generate enough wind to break up the high pressure system.

A side benefit is the warm weather.

We can expect high temperatures in the mid-teens for the next week with lows above the freezing mark.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013
InfoTel News Ltd

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