The sun sets over the Monashee Mountains as a sea of clouds covers the valleys below

The sun sets over the Monashee Mountains as a sea of clouds covers the valleys below

Valley fog expected to end this weekend

Low lying cloud over Revelstoke has blocked out the sun – unless you venture into the mountains. It's expected to clear out on Sunday.

If you’ve been feeling a little claustrophobic lately – perhaps like you’re stuck inside a pot with the lid eternally on – blame the mix of a high pressure system combined with moist air in the valley.

A low lying cloud has blocked out all trace of the sun for the past week in Revelstoke. That is, unless you’ve ventured through the fog and into the mountains.

“The vast majority of B.C. is completely sunny, but nobody lives there. It’s in the high ground. You don’t have to go far to get sun,” said Doug Lundquist, a meteorologist with Environment Canada. “What’s happened is an unusually strong ridge of high pressure and generally cooler moist conditions in the lowest levels has created a very strong inversion.”

Up above the fog, the weather has been spectacular – warm, sunny, and not a cloud in the sky. Just check the Revelstoke Mountain Resort webcam.

The fog has made for some eerie scenes. For photographers, it’s presented an smorgasbord of opportunities for spectacular shots of sunrises and sunsets over top a blanket of clouds; or eerie ghost-like shots of forests enveloped in fog.

I drove up to Echo Lake the other day, hoping to get above the cloud and capture some spectacular sunset shots. Instead, I found myself right in the thick of it. It felt like a scene out of Hound of the Baskervilles, except instead of British countryside, it was a B.C. Interior rainforest. No one was around and it was eerily silent as I ventured through the woods.

The lengthy, strong ridge of high pressure system is unusual for October, said Lundquist. It means the cooler moist air in the valleys can’t rise up into the atmosphere.

“When it’s really warm aloft and colder near the surface, the inversion is very strong and there is very little flow aloft to mix it up,” he said.

The system is expected to break on Sunday, which should bring a mix of sunny clouds and some precipitation. It will also be colder.

“Come Sunday we expect a modified Arctic front to move through the Columbias and as it does so it will give you showers or flurries, and temperatures – particularly overnight – will really drop,” said Lundquist.

Echo Lake was shrouded in fog this week. Photo by Alex Cooper/Revelstoke Times Review.

 

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