A rare treat for Grand Canyon visitors (enough to cause the locals to come out as well), a total cloud inversion occurred in the Grand Canyon.
Grand Canyon Experiences Rare Weather Phenomenon
By Eric Zerkel
Published Dec 12 2014 01:18 PM EST
Grand Canyon visitors were treated to a rare weather phenomenon Thursday when a dense layer of clouds filled up the 6,000-foot-deep canyon like a bathtub.
The phenomenon, known as a total cloud inversion, occurs when warm air aloft traps clouds closer to the surface of the ground. This time around the inversion trapped colder clouds lower in the atmosphere, just below the rim of the canyon, creating billowy white views for miles in all directions in the expanse below.
A video taken byAndrew Storey (shown below) posted to youtube shows the cloud cover taking form.
Grand Canyon National Park officials told The Atlantic that cloud inversions only occur at the park once in a decade, so they went out to snap the photos you see in the slideshow below.
Despite its typical rarity, a similar scene actually took place at the Grand Canyon just last year.
Only visitors to the national landmark Thursday were afforded the view. Cory Mottice of the National Weather Service told the Associated Press that the cloud cover will slowly dissipate over the coming days, meaning cloud cover peaked Thursday.
Still, as the Daily Mail reports, tourists lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the scene didn’t quite know what to do with the cloud covered canyon. Many park visitors complained about their obscured view of the valley below, prompting park rangers to explain the rarity of the event.
“Word spread like wildfire and most ran to the rim to photograph it,” Park Ranger Erin Whittaker told the Daily Mail. “What a fantastic treat for all!”