March 07, 2019 Thu
Morning fog

Sometimes, especially in winter, Yosano wakes up to find itself floating among the clouds. Or rather, that the clouds have descended to the earth. This ethereal phenomenon does in fact have a name: ‘valley fog’. 'Valley fog' occurs when denser cold air is trapped beneath a layer of lighter warm air – the geography of the Nodagawa valley readily creates the right conditions for the occurrence. (A good chance of seeing the fog is on a sunny morning after a rainy day.) The fog shrouding the valley basin forms a ‘sea of cloud’ (雲海; unkai) when viewed from above – those so inclined can capture the moment early in the morning from Mt. Oe, before the sun evaporates the moisture. Those among us who aren’t morning larks can instead appreciate the phenomenon on ground level, which for me means cycling through the humid mist on my morning commute. In Yosano, ‘valley fog’ only occurs during colder times of year; as spring approaches, now is a good time to appreciate one of nature’s most spectacular phenomena.

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