Southern Interior winters are often grey, but fog? | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Southern Interior winters are often grey, but fog?

It's been a foggy couple of days in the Okanagan as a stagnant air mass lies above the valley floor.
January 15, 2018 - 5:31 PM

The Southern Interior has seen a number of unusual winter weather patterns so far in 2018, from freezing rain to unusually heavy snow, cold temperatures, air quality advisories and now the fog.

The fog is so thick on some of the Interior mountain passes Environment Canada issued fog advisories and even crept into the valleys which is rare.

The foggy conditions are due to a fairly specific weather pattern, according to Environment Canada meteorologist Armel Catellan.

He says they are occuring because of a “dirty” ridge of high pressure. It's called a dirty ridge because the weather system traps moisture in the valley bottoms thanks to a temperature inversion above it.

“Most valleys in southern B.C. are not immune to this right now. We’re sitting at 1 Celsius or -1 C with a cloud deck above, but when the cloud deck hits the ground, it’s fog,” he says.

Catellan says the stagnant pattern can last several days, carrying with it air quality advisories as smoke particles, industrial exhaust and other particulates accumulate because there is nowhere for the particles to go.

He says a major weather system is usually needed to “flush it out.”

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