Hello Cardinal Country! With all this fog lately, you may ask yourself the following: “Why does it feel like my head is in the clouds?” Well, about being in the clouds, you’re not wrong there, as the fog you’ve become quite familiar with lately is a layer of clouds trapped near the ground. How is this, though? Well, the weather becomes a little upside down, actually – let’s explain how!
In the case of our weather lately, there was a layer of warm air some distance above the surface that had overrun some cooler air that was in place closer to the ground left over from last weekend’s Arctic outbreak + snow left over on the ground. This is called an inversion because we usually see cooler air above the ground. In the case of our weather during this past week, the boundary that brought the warm air through earlier this week stalled out, and the SW winds that were so gusty with the rain on Tuesday quieted down. This allowed that already cool & damp air to settle near the ground, and as that air cooled down ever so slightly every night and morning, we had that thick, soupy fog with us that caused the National Weather Service to issue those Dense Fog Advisories this week. Although we still have that inversion and the misty/drizzly/cloudy weather as a result, our system yesterday dried things out a bit off the westerly/northwesterly winds that blew overnight into this AM helped hedge off our fog risks just a little bit.
So, if it’s foggy & you’re feeling upside-down, the possible cause for that is an inversion!
-Cardinal Weather Service Forecaster Ryan Hill