Clearing up the fog about low-hanging clouds
CBC Saskatchewan's Weather Specialist Farah Singh explains how fog forms
On the prairies, fog isn't something we have to deal with for many days each year. So when it hangs around, it's useful to know what causing it.
Fog forms when the difference between temperature and dew point is generally less than 2.5° C.
For example, on Wednesday morning, the dew point and the temperature in Regina were both 15.1° C. That created perfect conditions for the formation of fog.
When the air temperature cools to the dew point, or if the dew point rises to equal the air temperature, then dew, fog or clouds begin to form. At this point, where the dew point temperature equals the air temperature, the relative humidity is 100 per cent.
Fog is essentially a cloud that has formed at ground level.
Regina's humidity highest in July
"In Regina, the average relative humidity is highest in July," CBC Saskatchewan's Weather Specialist Farah Singh explained. "According to Environment Canada 1981 to 2010 Canadian Climate Normals station data, July's average relative humidity is 86.2 per cent."
Light wind, ground inversion and clear skies during the previous night are also factors that contribute to the formation of fog.
At night, the heat from the earth radiates back into space. Early in the morning, the temperature is lower near the surface than above. This is called an inversion. When it happens, the warm air doesn't rise. As the temperature falls below the so-called dew point temperature near the ground, if there is enough humidity in the air, eventually fog will form.
As soon as the temperature increases and humidity levels drop, the fog will dissipate, or 'lift'. Generally this happens due to daytime heating by the sun.
With Files from Farah Singh