The recent prolonged cold period in western North America has caused a rare phenomenon: inversion stratus in the Grand Canyon. This is fairly common in the cool season in Interior BC valleys, and common any time of the year at the BC Coast. Rarely, however, does the Grand Canyon, in the desert climate of the Southwest US, see the right combination of snow and cold. The snow helped push the heat budget over the edge, reflecting (instead of absorbing) the sun’s radiation. It also provided the low-level moisture necessary for the stratus. Parks employees said this is a once-in-a-decade occurrence. (Images courtesy National Parks Service)
Thanks to Greg West at BC Hydro for the above story.