Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Decisions, decisions...

The Tule Fogs have arrived with a vengeance in California's Great Valley (Central Valley). After a series of very wet storms over the last few weeks the ground is saturated with water, but the storms are done with for the moment. This is a relief for anyone in the path of mudflows and flooding, but the stagnant air in the valley results in a temperature inversion with cold dense air below, and relatively drier air at higher levels. As the ground loses heat by infrared radiation, water vapor reaches the dew point and clouds form at ground level. The fog can be dangerously thick, with visibility measured in tens of feet sometimes. Driving in the fog is not unlike driving with cotton balls stuffed behind your sunglasses, and we have had some legendary chain reaction accidents involving dozens of cars on Highway 99 and Interstate 5.

I don't like the fogs very much. I don't like driving in them, and I hate that I am wandering about in the gloom, knowing that the sun is shining brightly just a few hundred feet over my head. School starts on Monday, so I should be getting everything ready; the syllabi are in fact done, and I spent a few hours cleaning up the lab yesterday. I'm kind of ready; there is a lot more I could be doing...but...I chanced on the webcam of the Yosemite Conservancy this morning, and...well...I'll see you all later, I've got one more field excursion to make before the semester starts!

Post a Comment