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morning rush

EXPLORED April 19th, 2012

 

Low Lying Clouds - Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

 

Dense fog laying in the Shenandoah Valley. Also referred to as 'fog oceans' or 'sea of clouds'.

 

I had the day off work today, so of course I was up on the mountain before sunrise. We had a rainy day yesterday so I thought there'd be a good chance that I might see this weather phenomenon.

 

I hit a thick wall of fog at the bottom of the mountain (what you see above) and had to drive through it for many miles (most in darkness) before I could get above it and then look down on it. I was in a race against the sun. You might say this was my morning rush. :-)

 

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To a large extent, the mountain causes fog. Moving air masses must rise to get over the mountain. As the air rises, it expands and cools; if the air is moist, cooling may cause moisture to precipitate as tiny droplets, and produce the clouds that we call fog.

 

Half a dozen times a year, an atmospheric inversion may produce a strange effect: fog lies like a soft white blanket on the Shenandoah Valley and the Piedmont, while the mountaintop is clear. Then you can look down on a "fog ocean," with the lower peaks rising above it like islands.

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3 brackets (-2 | 0 | +2) merged and lightly tone mapped, no crop.

 

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Taken on April 19, 2012