Archive for the ‘Grand Canyon in Winter’ Category

Canyon Floats Amid Rare Cloud Inversion

December 3rd, 2013 by Del & Sheryl Terry

 Rare cloud inversion over the Grand Canyon

freezing fog; rare cloud inversion over the Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon National Park visitors at Mather Point were greeted with a total  and rare cloud inversion on Friday. Cloud inversions are formed through the interaction of warm and cold air masses. (Photo by Erin Whittaker/National Park Service)

 

rare cloud inversion over the Grand Canyon

 

A group of fortunate Grand Canyon visitors and employees were treated to a rare sight this weekend — twice. On Friday and Sunday, the park’s redrock cliffs could be seen rising out of a sea of fog that occupied the inner reaches of the Canyon. The sky above was blue at times, amplifying the effect. Photos posted to the park’s Facebook page quickly went viral on the web. 

The phenomenon is called a total cloud inversion.

And the National Weather Service says it’s a textbook example of how the atmosphere behaves like a liquid. At night, the cold front of clouds falls into the lowest terrain around, the Grand Canyon. As the temperature warms through the day, the clouds push out east, up the Grand Staircase and across the Navajo Nation.

“We get areas of fog, but to have something this widespread and prolonged is pretty rare,” said Megan Schwitzer, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Bellemont. “It’s not something that happens every year or even every other year.”

But not everyone was happy at the South Rim. According to National Park Service Ranger Erin Whittaker, some visitors actually complained about the clouds. Others rushed to the rim when they heard about the rare cloud inversion.

“Word spread like wildfire and most ran to the rim to photograph it. What a fantastic treat for all,” she said.

Whittaker said she had waited five years herself to spot the phenomenon. And it was just in the nick of time. Whittaker started her three-month annual furlough on Monday — the day that her photos for the Park Service appeared on worldwide media sites.

More information about the event can be found at http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/in-rare-weather-event-clouds-fill-grand-canyon/2013/12/05/0742b0ce-5d4a-11e3-bc56-c6ca94801fac_gallery.html

 

Experience a Grand Canyon Winter

December 28th, 2012 by Del & Sheryl Terry

Snow capped canyon peaks; grand canyon winter; grand canyon winter

Snowy view from the South Rim

Experience a Grand Canyon winter and enjoy this Northern Arizona natural wonder.

 

Most people think of Arizona and envision desert landscapes complete with saguaro cactus and hot temperatures, but our Grand Canyon State is full of surprises.  What better way to treat yourselves to a very special Arizona vacation than to visit one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World this fall and winter and experience a different side of Grand Canyon, one that many people don’t even realize exists!

Clearing-Winter,-Grand-Canyon-National-Park,-Arizona

Winter on top; Southern AZ temperatures on the bottom

 

 

 

 

The snow has begun to fall in Northern Arizona, making this a great time to experience the cozy warmth of the radiant heat gas fireplaces and the warm hospitality of Grand Canyon Bed and Breakfast.

 

 

 

san francisco peaks; grand canyon winter

Vista of San Francisco Peaks from Hwy 64 to Grand Canyon

 

 

 

 

You can also enjoy staying warm and viewing the winter scenery while others do the driving as you ‘motor’ to the Rim and tour Grand Canyon National Park on a small group van tour.  Let a professional driver navigate what can be the snowy/icy roads of the High Plains and the Kaibab Plateau and teach you about the flora and fauna as well as the geology of one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World.

 

 

 

 

grand canyon railway through the snow; grand canyon winter

Grand Canyon Railway headed to Grand Canyon

 

Another option is to ‘ride the rails’ aboard a vintage train along the century-old line leading from Williams, AZ to the Grand Canyon!

You’ll be sure to keep warm on your journey to the heart of the historic Grand Canyon South Rim Village.  Once you arrive at Grand Canyon, you’ll enjoy a much calmer and quieter visit this time of year as the summer crowds have cleared and the fall has quickly turned into winter.  This truly is a wonderful time of year to enjoy all that Grand Canyon has to offer — from spectacular vistas that just might be dusted in a beautiful layer of snow to the grand lobby of the historic El Tovar Hotel or Bright Angel Lodge with  blazing fireplaces welcoming guests inside to enjoy your winter afternoon!

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