Fogust - It's a VibeAugust looks a little different out here in Tofino.
FOGUST - fȯ-ˈgəst
A special time of year in Tofino characterised by mild, foggy weather even though the rest of BC is scorching hot.
Ok, so maybe Fogust doesn’t sound that appealing at first. The idea of sporting long sleeves and jeans in the middle of summer does seem a little odd. But as with any of Tofino’s distinct weather patterns, Fogust has its own charm.
Let’s start with why it happens. First off, there are two types of fog that happen out here on the west coast: radiation fog and advection fog. One of the better explanations of these particular weather patterns can be actually be found in an old Tofino Time article written by Lily McLean and Drew Burke.
“Advection fog forms when wind pushes relatively warmer air over a cooler body of water causing the air temperature to drop and the moisture it carries to reach the dew point temperature and condense to form fog,” the article explains.
“Radiation fog forms on cool, clear nights as the temperature of the land drops and brings the air temperature down to dew point temperature, causing water vapour in the air to condense into fog.”
Fogust is a product of advection fog. The ocean’s cold out here, even in the middle of summer (though you do see the occasional brave soul surfing sans wetsuit). So when onshore breezes—which are created by the temperature difference between land and sea—push warm air across the ocean, August becomes Fogust.
Many a sunny beach day has been foiled by advection fog, but only if you’re not expecting it. The fog usually burns off around midday, so you can still pack your bikini and short shorts. But August out here is a two-outfit kinda party. Pack your long-sleeve shirt for the morning vibes, and then change into your swimmers once the sun comes out.
And as much as we talk about Fogust, it’s not always a thing. The sun’s still our galaxy’s most powerful celestial body after all, so a little advection fog can only do so much to keep her away. In August 2021, roughly half the days boasted full sunshine. And if you go back in the records, you can see that the sun pokes through more often than not.
But still, we love to talk about it. We even like to name drinks after it. And when it does happen, we embrace it. Fogust is part of the natural order out here. Its moisture nourishes our rainforests. And when the wildfires rage across the rest of our province, the fog protects our homes and trees.
So the next time you see someone complaining about Tofino summers on social media, tell them to soak it up and pack two outfits to the beach.
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