Smoke not likely to clear until Friday at the earliest

The smoke has returned, and Kamloops-area skies aren’t likely to become much clearer until Friday at the earliest.

Environment Canada meteorologist Lisa Erven told KTW the problem is impacting most of the Southern Interior.

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“The smoke has really taken over the Interior of B.C., not just the Kamloops area,” she said, noting weather conditions are keeping smoke trapped close to the ground.

“We’ve got this ridge of high pressure that’s built in over the province. It acts as a cap or a lid trapping wildfire smoke near the surface of the Earth. Basically, instead of the smoke continuing to rise up and be dispersed in the upper levels of the atmosphere, it stays low to the Earth and has nowhere to go.”

Erven said the conditions are forecast to change by the end of the work week.

“The ridge of high pressure is going to last until Thursday,” she said. “On Friday, we’ve got a trough of cooler air moving across the province.”

According to Erven, the shift could bring precipitation.

“Under this pattern change, you typically get some strong winds, a chance of showers and the chance of thundershowers,” she said. “Once that front passes through, we’ll be into a cooler air mass.”

Erven said the shift in conditions is not a guarantee smoke will disappear.

“There are so many fires burning in B.C.,” she said. “It’s hard to forecast how smoke activity will change.”

© 2018 Kamloops This Week

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