Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Our Version of a White Christmas

I've seen so many pictures lately online about the beautiful gorgeous white Christmas' that many of you are enjoying and hey...I didn't want to be left out. After all, we here in Kern County have our own version of a White Christmas. So I wanted to share.

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.


  1. Be careful in that fog...it's some bad stuff! Merry Christmas to you and your family!


  2. Wishing you a guardian angel to watch over you!

  3. That is the one thing I don't miss about Bakersfield. Driving in it terrifies me and even more so when my hubby drives in it because he thinks he's speed racer in the fog. Any other time he is more like Mr. Magoo.

    I can remember driving with my windows down and listening for traffic. Yep, it used to be real bad.

    Thanks for posting this Alicia. You sure do know how to write a good blog. I find you very fascinating.

    Have a wonderful and Merry Christmas. I will not be too far from you as I will be in Bakersfield for the holidays.

  4. Regardless of its colour, fog is dangerous as it reduces visibility. May God protect you and all the other commuters!

    Happy Holidays to you Alicia!

  5. Linda - Merry Christmas. I'll be careful you betcha!

    Oliva - Thank you :-) A guardian is just what I needed! Merry Christmas!

  6. JarieLyn - Yep...you my friend know exactly what I mean about the fog.
    I'm so happy you enjoy my blog. I so enjoy yours also and I look forward to this next year and seeing all those awesome photos you're going to be taking!

    Merry Christmas and next time you come to town we'll have to get together. I know Christmas is a bad time cause of all the family obligations!

  7. DUTA - I'm glad you stopped by. I hadn't heard from you in a bit. Thank you for your prayer and Happy Holidays for you as well!

  8. Ah yes, Tule Fog....it is so scary driving in it! I'm in Stanislaus County, bot to far from you. I don't know about there but so many drive WITHOUT headlights on here!! I remember my Dad talking about having the door open so he could see the white line while driving, haven't has to do that yet, thnak GOD! Be safe & keep warm. Wish we would get some of the real white stuff ;~)

    Wishing you a magical memory making Merry Christmas!!



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