Grand Canyon Once-A-Decade Fog Phenomenon

It turns out that the Grand Canyon has limitless potential for beauty. Blanketed with an ethereal layer of pure white clouds, the chasmic void resembles a vast ocean- or an expansive sky, at eye level.

A phenomenon that usually occurs only once every few years is becoming much more common due to more frequent temperature inversions. Put simply, normal air temperatures suddenly reverse, causing cooler air to remain grounded while warm air hovers above it- couple that with the perfect amount of moisture, and heaven on earth! 

Why It’s a Phenomenon

The Grand Canyon has never been described as mild, it is a land of extremes. While the days can often be peered at through the waves of heat, the nights are shaken by strong, cold winds.

In order for magic to happen, the wind needs to settle down. On the rare night this happens, cold air makes its way into the valley and huddles beneath the lighter, warm air.

When that cold air forms enough moisture and cools down enough, a certain amount of ground fog will begin to form.

Then, a perfectly timed temperature inversion occurs. This means that the colder air hovering on the bottom can’t diffuse into the the drier air above it- the fog becomes trapped and forms a low cloud.

Rangers working at the park wait with anticipation for their turn to see the canyon filled with voluptuous vapors, deeming it a miraculous and deeply fortunate sight.

Depending on the weather, the gorgeous view can dissipate within minutes which is baffling to the onlooker as minutes before the illusion was that of a 4000-foot void  brimming with cloud cover.

Inspiration