Humidity to blame for hazy skies

High humidity is the likely cause of a heavy, bluish haze that blanketed much of Alberta on Tuesday, says an Environment Canada meteorologist.

High humidity is the likely cause of a heavy, bluish haze that blanketed much of Alberta on Tuesday, says an Environment Canada meteorologist.

Throughout the day, a heavy haze settled over much of the province, held down by a high-pressure ridge that acted like a lid, preventing moisture and pollutants from escaping into the upper atmosphere, Lisa Coldwells said from the Vancouver weather centre.

“You’re looking at water vapour in the atmosphere. It would be like going to a semi-tropical destination and you have that humid, hazy condition,” said Coldwells.

Her office had checked into the possibility that the haze was created by smoke from forest fires currently burning in B.C.

“We’ve been looking at that, and it doesn’t look like it’s coming from forest fires in B.C. because the upper flow would have pushed that smoke well to the north.”

Even though skies are clear, Coldwells said she has been pickin up what looks like rain on the weather radar because of the high humidity.

Dewpoints in the afternoon reached 14 and 15 degrees, which is very unusual in Alberta.

Coldwells anticipates that cooling aloft will allow breaks in pressure ridge that is now acting as a cap on the lower levels. Clouds will form as the humid air rises, creating potential for a few small storms.

As of 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Environment Canada was calling for clear skies to day and a high of 30.

bkossowan@bprda.wpengine.com

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