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‘Freezing fog’ takes over Penticton sky

Environment Canada says conditions starting to clear around 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 19
Freezing fog in Penticton on Thursday morning, Jan. 19, 2023. (Brennan Phillips- Western News)

A common weather pattern for the month of January took over the Penticton sky early Thursday morning, Jan. 14.

Environment Canada says freezing fog was in the city’s forecast starting at 8:30 a.m. Conditions are now described as misty, as of 10:40 a.m.

“It’s not an unusual pattern,” said Alyssa Charbonneau, a meteorologist at Environment and Climate Change Canada. “While the fog itself is liquid vapor, the droplets freeze when below-zero temperatures are on the surface. It’s quite dramatic and can form overnight.”

The weather agency says conditions started to clear at around 10 a.m. Patches of fog are expected to disappear starting at noon.

Despite the morning’s conditions, a fog advisory was not issued.

For Environment Canada to issue such an advisory, low visibilities have to last for at least six hours. That was not the case in Penticton on Thursday.

“The visibility for fog has to be more than half a kilometres, as well,” Charbonneau added. “Sometimes when you’re in the valley, you might be under the cloud deck, but as you drive into the mountains, you could pass areas of dead fog. So even when we say fog patches, it’s not always widespread.”

Although the freezing fog was in the forecast for a two-hour span Thursday, Environment Canada expects sunny skies and temperatures of up to 5 C for the rest of the day.

Elsewhere in the region, though, DriveBC is warning of fog on Highway 3 between Keremeos and Osoyoos.

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