Rare Clouds Fill Grand Canyon to the Brim

Seeing the Grand Canyon for the first time, you will instantly realize why this monumental landform has become not only an American treasure, but a wonder of the world. People from all across the globe journey to the Grand Canyon every single year, but visitors to the hot tourist destination got a little more than they expected when rare Grand Canyon weather conditions filled the canyon with thick, plush clouds.

That’s right. Instead of visitors being able to look down into the massive canyon, their view was blocked by dense clouds this week. The fog formed itself into beautiful, defined waves that looked more like cotton than evaporated water, preventing visitors from enjoying the depth of the canyon while giving them the chance to experience something far more elusive.

This rare phenomena usually only occurs once every decade, but as luck would have it, visitors were able to see a similar weather pattern in the Grand Canyon just last year. The fog was created by a weather phenomenon known as “temperature inversion”. It’s actually a very simple concept, despite the pattern’s rarity. You probably already know that warmer air rises, and when the cold air inside the Grand Canyon isn’t allowed to mix with a layer of warm air on the surface of the canyon, the cold air trapped inside the canyon, precipitation turns into dew which then turns into a fog. The fog rises until the warm air prevents it from rising any further, which is why the fog comes so close to the top of the canyon.

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On average, this only happens once every decade or so, and while it’s unclear what has caused the Grand Canyon to fill with fog twice within as many years, it’s a treat for return visitors. The rarity of this event caused local enthusiasts and park officials to spread the word around, and many people visited to photograph the rare phenomena.

How would this impact your trip to the Grand Canyon? Would it ruin the visit or make it even more special? What might be causing the frequency of this event? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!