Over the last week, Moose Jaw and most of southern Saskatchewan have been covered with a dark foggy haze with limited sunlight making it a little dreary.
Environment Canada says that the prolonged fog within the city is due to a stagnant weather pattern called an inversion that has covered much of the province.
“What an inversion is – it's a cap in the lower part of the atmosphere that traps all the low-level moisture, and pollutants,” says Environment Canada Meteorologist, Terri Lang. “That’s why we’ve been getting these low clouds and fog.”
Lang adds that last weekend the area did receive a weather system that produced a very interesting type of fog.
“It’s called advection fog,” adds Lang. “That’s what happens when warm air moves over the cold ground. We saw freezing drizzle associated with that, which is a little bit different than rime-icing but sort of the same process. We’ve had a few things going on but we’re now back into that stagnant weather pattern now.”
The fog and hazy conditions will stick around Moose Jaw for most of this week but there may be some relief this weekend, as they are tracking a weather system in the Northwest Territories that could bring some much-needed wind to the region.
“Once we have more wind it can mix the lower atmosphere out and gets rid of that inversion and all that trapped moisture and pollutants. Hopefully, towards the end of the week, we’ll start seeing some sunny breaks.”
People may have noticed that along with the fog-like conditions, the area has seen milder temperatures.
Lang explains that the fog and cloud coverage acts like a blanket and basically insulate the region to not allow cold weather or more milder temperatures in.
“We’re not seeing a lot of variation between daytime highs and overnight lows because of the cloud coverage. The average highs are around –8 degrees and the average overnight lows are around –19 degrees.”
The current forecast for this week is showing daytime highs ranging from as cold as –6 to as warm as two degrees, which is expected for Saturday. Forecasted overnight lows are ranging from –8 to –11 degrees.
Lang does want to warn people of the risks that are associated with these types of weather conditions such as rime-icing or freezing rain that could cause hazardous conditions on area highways.