Fog blocks flights at RIX

Thick fog blanketed most of the land Thursday morning, causing early flights to Riga to be rerouted to Tallinn, or delayed until the air over the runways clears.

Visibility around the Riga International Airport (RIX) was down to just 190 meters early, and by 7:20 a.m. had cleared already to 290 meters, these however still being unfavorable visibility conditions for safe landings, causing flights to Riga to stay at the gate in their departure cities. Airport authorities say a new fog lighting system for the runways has been installed to assist with low-visibility landings, but it is still being tested and won’t fully be put into operation until March 5.

Frost also accompanied the widespread fog as winds were almost completely still and temperatures stayed just below freezing overnight.  

The fog may linger in places throughout the first half of the day but later the sky will clear under very slow winds of varying direction giving way to some sunshine.

High air temperatures will reach between +4 and +9 degrees Celsius during the day, except where the fog lingers longer, keeping it around +2 and +3 degrees.

The weather pattern will remain similar for the weekend, with Friday being partly cloudy with some chance of light rain in eastern Latgale province. Temperatures will reach a high of +7 in Kurzeme province, elsewhere in the land staying between +1 and +5 degrees, continuing the thaw.

The chance of early morning fog remains high for Friday, Saturday and Sunday, when some more sun is expected to shine through scattered drizzly cloud cover.

The State Fire and Rescue Service (VUGD) warns residents to exercise extreme caution around the thin ice covering bodies of water, which is a danger to people and pets as the extended thaw continues.

Wednesday morning in Zalve county a man was rescued by his neighbor, who happened to hear his cries for help upon falling into the Dienvidsusēja river by his home. Luckily the rescuer had access to a boat after falling through the ice himself and was able to pull his drowning neighbor safely to the riverbank before the VUGD arrived.

The early spring-like weather has also awakened ticks, which slept through a very comfortable winter and have already become active, according to epidemiologists at the Disease Prevention and Control Center, reported Latvian information agency LETA. Tick activity, which in Latvia carry the dreaded encephalitis virus, is something Latvians monitor carefully all season long, as they head to the woods and fields for mushrooming, berry picking and outdoor chores.

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