ST. GEORGE — “What’s with all the fog” was a common question in Southern Utah and much of the state on Wednesday morning.

Layer of fog covers the St. George, Utah, valley, Jan. 24, 2024 | Photo by Stephanie Degraw, St. George News

The answer, according to the National Weather Service, comes down to one word: evaporation. In this case, the rain on the ground from the last few days may be gone, but it’s sticking around as water vapor. 

“It was a pretty weak storm system, but it’s gradually drying,” Jon Wilson, with the National Weather Service’s Salt Lake City office, told St. George News. He added that a high-pressure system moving in behind it is lifting dry air to higher altitudes while keeping those drying puddles at lower altitudes.

“All that moisture is almost trapped in the lower level and there’s little wind,” Wilson said. “It’s just hanging around down there.”

Foggy conditions are being noticed throughout the state for the same reason, Wilson said.

Locally, drivers had low visibility heading to work and there was an eerieness some compared to a horror movie. 

Moving satellite photo shows foggy conditions developing over the St. George and Kanab areas of Utah, Jan. 24, 2024 | Photo courtesy of National Weather Service, St. George News

According to the weather service, fog usually forms one of two ways: Either after a rain storm in low wind conditions with dry air in higher altitudes or during a rain storm when rain is falling through cooler air than the higher altitudes.

Wilson said foggy conditions are more of a rarity in Southern Utah as winds usually come after a storm in local weather patterns. He added that fog in Southern Utah usually comes in the winter.

The weather service said the fog should continue burning off through the day, though there is a chance for some patchy fog on Wednesday evening.

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