Saturday, December 16, 2006

Le Brouillard

The vineyard out behind our house, still waiting to be pruned, under the fog.

Fall and winter bring an interesting weather phenomenon to a large part of France: le brouillard, or fog. High pressure develops over this part of Europe and sits here, keeping out storms, but also resulting in temperature inversions that trap fog down on the ground making for grey, wet, and gloomy days. We had a foggy inversion day this week.

The buds on the forsythia have set for next spring. Above, a drop of condensation hangs precariously. Below, water condenses on spider webs.

An inversion can occur when warmer air moves in over colder air. Fog forms in the humid cold layer, but the normal convection that takes place in the air can't happen, thus trapping the cold wet air on the ground.

Fog condenses on the fence.

There is usually no wind (I think if there were wind, the inversion wouldn't form), and the result is an eerily quiet misty effect, with water condensing on everything and dripping out of the trees. It's quite pretty once you start to look around.

Our fuzzy lambs' ears trap the condensation.

All of these pictures were taken from or in our back yard. Sometimes these inversions can last for days at a time. Other times, like this week, the fog hangs around for only a day. The day after these photos were taken was cold, but sunny and clear.

One of the pine trees in the yard (a former xmas tree of the previous owners) also drips with condensed fog.


Tell me what you think!