An Okanagan phenomenon

Alanna Kelly

An Okanagan Valley photographer captured supernatural British Columbia – and an Okanagan phenomenon. 

Inversions are delightful to watch, but cause complications for meteorologists and the aviation industry.

According to Environment Canada meteorologist Bobby Sekhon, inversions happen when the temperature is cooler at the surface and there is warmer air above.

"That creates a stable layer there, where you actually have temperatures increasing with height to the top of the inversion,” he said. 

Caillum Smith of Preserved Light Photography perched on a cliff at the Carmi Loop Mountain Trail outside Penticton to capture the swirling, beautiful clouds.

Sekhon said inversions make things tricky for forecasters, “in terms of if it will be rain or snow, or even in times of Arctic outbreaks, it could lead to freezing rain.”

He added inversions often trap clouds in the valley, causing difficulty for pilots. 

“There can be times where the cool air pools in the valley, and when you move up it actually gets slightly warmer,” he said. “Lake Okanagan, for example, can actually provide some moisture and give some fog, which is not good for flights coming in and out.”

The entire inversion video can be viewed at this link.

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