Dec 29, 2009

An End to Pogonip?

I know, I know, it doesn't look all that exciting. Just a cloudy sky above some vaguely snowy trees. But trust me: this is an exciting sight for us today. We've been experiencing the dreaded winter weather phenomenon known formally as a 'stagnant air inversion layer', more colloquially as 'freezing fog' or, as I have just learned, 'pogonip' -- a Shoshone word meaning, well, freezing fog.

Since the fog rolled in Christmas morning, we have seen neither the sun nor the sky. The fog has been so thick, and so settled-in, that it has actually been falling out of the sky and accumulating on the ground like snow, as well as the usual hoarfrost attached to tree branches, etc.

I actually had to shovel it on Sunday. Who ever heard of shoveling fog?!

Quite lovely for about a day, then we Central Oregon sunshine freaks start whining and feeling depressed. Conveniently, the fog ends less than 1000 feet above town, so skiers heading up for nordic or alpine skiing at Meissner Snow Park or Mt Bachelor hit sunshine within 5 minutes of leaving town, and come home with sunburns.


  1. fascinating about the fog...That last photo is beautiful!

  2. Hi, Kathy!
    Well, now I know what pogonip is! Our Salt Lake City valley suffers from inversions, too. But, it's not fog, it's pollution. I live high enough up in the mountains that I can look down upon this thick, grey soup. I can see how the lack of sunshine could be a bit depressing. Love your great, big trees!