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FULLERTON PLANE CRASH : Fog Expected to Lift Today, Clear for Thanksgiving Travel

TIMES STAFF WRITER

The recent dense fog, which may have impaired the visibility of a pilot who crashed in Fullerton on Monday, is expected to lift starting today and clear up by Thanksgiving, weather officials said.

The thick night and early morning fog over the past three days has led to congested air traffic--and some delays--at airports across Southern California. It has been caused by the thin, moist air coming off the ocean being trapped under a ridge of high pressure, said meteorologist Curtis Brack of WeatherData Inc., which provides forecasts for The Times.

“The high pressure is sitting on top of the marine layer and not allowing it to rise, causing the fog to be dense and thick,” Brack said.

Stronger winds are expected from the ocean today, bringing in more moist air and pushing out more fog, Brack said.

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Monday’s fog was heaviest from 3 to 9 a.m., Brack said.

One flight was canceled at John Wayne Airport and 15 others were delayed Monday, airport spokeswoman Pat Ware said.

“The longest delay we had was about 20 minutes,” Ware said. “Fifteen flight delays is significant, but we’ve experienced thicker fog in the past that stayed for a longer period of time.”

The fog narrowed visibility to near zero at Los Angeles International Airport on Monday.

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Sixteen flights, from small aircraft to international flights, were diverted from LAX to Ontario Airport, LAX spokeswoman Nancy Suey Castle said. Other airlines diverted flights to Las Vegas and San Diego, she said.

Shorter flights, from California and the Northwest, were postponed until weather conditions cleared, she said.

No flights were canceled at LAX, Suey Castle said.

Suey Castle said this week’s fog is the beginning of the fog season that usually lasts through January.

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“It’s been busy,” said Paul Greiner, superintendent of operations at Ontario Airport. “But it’s that time of year when it’s likely that you have fog around and Thanksgiving is a peak time for air travel.”

With forecasts of clearer skies and sunshine by the end of the week, Greiner added, “It looks like everyone will make it home on time for turkey.”

Times staff writer David Haldane contributed to this story.


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