arctic birds like to winter here.
But we have one issue. When the first rains fall in October or November, the Tule Fogs come. These are thick radiation fogs generated during cold periods when moist ground cools off during the night. The water vapor condenses to water droplets in a dense blanket at ground level. The fog makes life not just miserable, but downright dangerous for drivers. What is it like? Get on a freeway sometime, and imagine driving with your eyes closed. And then imagine that everyone else has their eyes closed too, and that some of them are in a hurry. Some people just don't know enough to slow down and horrible chain reaction accidents result.
The fog sieges can last for weeks. I can remember hungering for sunlight so much that we would drive into the mountains for a few hours of respite from the gloom. The fog sets up under an inversion layer only a few tens or hundreds of feet thick, meaning the sun is shining just a few feet over our heads on the cloud tops, but not on us.
But we've not had many of these weeks-long sieges of late. With the intense drought that is crippling our state, the ground has been dry with no fog forming. Even with the wet years, the long term trend is for fewer foggy days, a decrease of 46% over the last three decades. The cause is in part related to global warming. With warmer average temperatures, the fog doesn't form as often, and with increasingly persistent droughts, the ground is not wet as often.
I hate the fog, but I'll tolerate it if it means the drought is ending.