C.S. Lewis (movie quote from "Shadowlands")
What makes it worse is the knowledge that the sun is close by. It is shining on the cloud tops only a few hundred feet overhead, and on the slopes of the Sierra Nevada foothills only a few short miles to the east. Why is it that we have to spend all these weeks in the shadows and darkness?
Living in a place for decades gives one a perspective on changes, however gradual. It's dawned on me recently that I haven't experienced as many week-long fog sieges like those that plagued my first few years in Modesto. A recent study supports the perception that the fog has not been as pervasive as it once was. The number of foggy days in some areas has decreased by a third (20% versus 30%) in the last thirty years. Much of the change is no doubt related to global warming, as warmer overnight temperatures mean that the dew point is reached less often. The growing population of the valley no doubt has an effect, since cities give off a great deal of heat. One more factor is the decrease in particulate air pollution, since the water droplets need a bit of dust (condensation nuclei) to coalesce around. Stagnant air basins are a great place for accumulating air pollution, but we have made great efforts to decrease the particulate levels over the decades (we are still the worst in the nation, but progress is progress).