Here's a picture from my front porch this morning right before I left for work at about 7:15 a.m. I commute about 25 miles one way to work each day and I like to take my time, so I leave pretty early. Can you tell why it's a White Christmas?
How about now? Getting closer to guessing why it's a White Christmas?
And no...it's not just that my windshield is dirty!
This my friends, is FOG... Tule Fog.
Tule fog (pronounced Toolie) is a radiation fog, which condenses when there is a high relative humidity (typically after a heavy rain), calm winds, and rapid cooling during the night. The nights are longer in the winter months, which creates rapid ground cooling, and thereby a pronounced temperature inversion at a low altitude.
In California, tule fog can extend from Bakersfield to Red Bluff. Tule fog occasionally drifts as far west as the San Francisco Bay Area, even drifting westward out the Golden Gate, opposite to the usual course of summertime ocean fog.
We moved to Kern County in 1977. Up until then I had never seen Fog and had no idea what it was. I had to learn to drive 25 miles one way to go to college in this stuff! And for some reason, it seems like in 1977 it was much, much worse. Back...way back, in those days it was difficult just to see the front of your car. I used to drive by making sure I stayed within the white lines.
I drove on a wing and a prayer everyday, sometimes with the windows rolled down so I could hear oncoming and cross traffic.
I've learned to love the fog...I don't love driving in it, but if you can just stand somewhere and listen it muffles all the outside noise of cars and people and it's pretty peaceful. And although I love the fog, I really don't wish for this type of White Christmas because I know so many people are going to have to drive to their loved ones homes for Christmas and it's too dangerous to be out in this white stuff.