Thick fog to hang around through the weekend

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by KING 5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on October 23, 2013 at 5:59 PM

Updated Thursday, Oct 24 at 10:22 PM

Forecasters say a mostly dry, high pressure system that has been sitting over the Northwest for a couple of weeks will continue to cause dense fog in many parts of Washington.

The National Weather Service said visibility early Wednesday morning in the central Puget Sound area was a quarter-mile or less.

“It's not terribly unusual to get what we call a temperature inversion the cold air and fog at the surface, the warm and sunnier air aloft,” said KING 5 Meteorologist Lisa Van Cise.

What IS weird is how long the fog has been sticking around. High pressure is staying put, and as long as it does, so does the fog.

The thick fog has caused ferry delays and made driving dangerous. Two people died in a crash in Whatcom County on Tuesday.

Driving tips

  • Drive with lights on low beam. High beams will only be reflected back off the fog and will impair visibility even more.
  • Reduce your speed -- and watch your speedometer. Fog creates a visual illusion of slow motion when you may actually be speeding.
  • Listen for traffic you cannot see. Open your window a bit to hear better.
  • Use wipers and defrosters as necessary for maximum visibility.
  • Use the right edge of the road or painted road markings as a guide.
  • Be patient. Do not pass lines of traffic.
  • Do not stop on a freeway or heavily traveled road. If your car stalls or becomes disabled, turn your vehicle's lights off, and take your foot off of the brake pedal. People tend to follow tail lights when driving in fog. Move away from the vehicle to avoid injury.

Forecasters say the foggy weather is likely to persist through the weekend, with a change possible by Monday to colder weather and clearing, but still dry.

The National Weather Service's Seattle station says the month has been abnormal for the fall.  Seattle normally averages seven days with dense fog, with visibility of less than a quarter mile.  There has already been nine of those days this month.  Olympia has been foggy 20 of 23 days.

The weather pattern has also provided some unusual photo opportunities.  Dozens of people flocked to West Seattle to get a view of the city skyline, which was shrouded Thursday by fog, and only partially visible.

At least one person is looking at the bright side, so to speak.  "There is more beer consumption when there are foggy days versus other days," says Jim Jamison, who was in West Seatlte, and  might know a little something about beer.  He's the brewmaster at Foggy Noggin Brewery in Bothell.

Check the latest traffic conditions anytime with the Seattle Traffic App and weather with the WeatherCaster App

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