A rare total cloud inversion

Cosmos Magazine


Cosmos is a quarterly science magazine. We aim to inspire curiosity in ‘The Science of Everything’ and make the world of science accessible to everyone.

By Cosmos

The National Park Service has released this stunning time-lapse video of two scenes from the Grand Canyon National Park taken over 30 minutes. The entire video has been condensed into one minute showing the glorious sea of clouds moving through the Canyon.

Total cloud inversion happens when cold air is trapped in the canyon then covered with a layer of warm air. Condensation of the moisture in the cold reserve causes fog to form, and the warm layer limits its upward growth and movement.

Thursday provided ideal conditions for total cloud inversion to take place, an event which is actually quite rare and usually occurs only every 7 or so years, although this is the second time in six weeks it has been observed.

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