On Thursday morning, a natural phenonmenon known as a cloud inversion could be seen above Fernie in southeast B.C.
Cloud inversion, also called temperature inversion, happens when the atmosphere’s temperature gets warmer as altitude increases, causing smog in the air to get trapped and stay close to the ground as the area becomes extremely foggy.
Without the obstacle of many clouds, the heat is able to freely travel upwards allowing for a spectacular view if one can get high enough above the clouds – in this case, up the hiking and biking trails on Mount Proctor north of Fernie.
The inversions become even more extraordinary when in mountainous terrain. The density of the cold air will force it to flow down causing it to get trapped in area such as valleys, appearing as mist which can last for hours.
If one is able to get above the necessary height, not only is there a clear and spectacular view but the mist that is stuck to the ground will appear like rocks in a pond, floating smoothly and swiftly through hills and valleys.
When inversions happen during storms, thunder is able travel further and sounds much louder compared to normal circumstances.