Monday, November 29, 2010

Pogonip, Rain, Hail, Sleet, Snow, Wind, Storm, and Today -- Brilliant Sunshine!

As we drove to my BIL's house for Thanksgiving dinner and turned a corner on the road that leads to the highway, I spotted something unusual in the forest on top of the mountain range to the east. I would have had no idea what it was if I hadn't read about it in our local paper last year -- pogonip. Then when we came to town, we saw that the entire Tehachapi range was covered in pogonip. This is pogonip according to Wikipedia:

In the western United States, ice fog is commonly known as pogonip.[2] It occurs very rarely during cold winter spells, usually in deep mountain valleys. Ice fog can be quite common in Alaska, since the temperature frequently drops below -40 °C (-40 °F) in the winter months. Pogonip forms under only the right conditions, the humidity has to be near 100% as the air temperature drops to well below 0 °C (32 °F), allowing ice crystals to form in the air. The ice crystals will then settle onto surfaces.
The name pogonip is an English adaptation of the Shoshone word meaning "cloud" (payinappih). The English-speaking settlers who encountered this unpleasant and sometimes scary phenomenon when they went out West in the 1800s needed a word for it and they borrowed it from local populations.[3]

It was interesting to actually see this rare phenomenon, albeit from a distance.
On Saturday, my husband got a ride back to the city with his brother and nephew and guess what was left for me! This:

I am so relieved and happy to have 4-wheel drive transportation again. 
After a night -- Saturday to Sunday -- that included all the elements, except the pogonip and sunshine, from the title of this post, we all woke up tired. The only window to bang and clang in a storm is in my bedroom. And when the wind howls, Angel, always vigilant, thinks it's something she has to bark at. Then she got scared of the hail and had to sleep in my bed, but she also decided she had to walk around in the bed and on top of me. So after a not so restful night, this is what we found outside yesterday morning:

Storm clouds and

 snow on the ground.
 The wind continued to blow during the day but we had no more rain, hail, sleet or snow.

It was very windy outside all day and big clouds of snow blew across the land, much like a sandstorm in summer.

Samson was probably the only one in our family to truly enjoy and appreciate yesterday's weather. He was happily running around, jumping high in the air, playing with the other dogs, so full of joy in his true snowy element.

The rest of the day I spent catching up with the blogs, while the dogs did what dogs do best. Here are a few shots:

 Snoozing in front of the fire.

Making sure no one gets HIS bone!

Knowing life is good when you have best friends to snuggle with.

I went outside to get some wood around 4:30 in the afternoon and noticed that the temps were quickly moving toward freezing.

And when I looked up, I saw that the sun, hidden behind clouds in the southwest, was reflected in these pretty, puffy clouds to the northeast. How that happens, I don't know, but it was pretty to watch.

So that was our Sunday. The first Sunday in Advent.

This morning the temps are in the teens, but not for long.

A short while ago, the sun just made it over the eastern mountain range.
It will melt the snow, but not before it has created one of those magic mornings that I remember from my childhood in Sweden, of  glistening snow in the cold. I must go outside right now before the magic turns to slush. 

Have a wonderful day!


  1. Oh brrr! But I can just see Samson frolicking in it! I can relate on the "scared dogs make for a restless night" scenario. Hope you have a chance to snooze like the dogs do!

  2. Ahhh, I love glistening snow...and what a cool phenomena; pogonip; it even has a wonderful name!
    I love your photos and while I am NOT ready for that type of cold weather, the fire looks inviting :)

  3. I love your description of the snow "like a sandstorm" - that's what it's like here today.
    Your dogs look very content.

  4. What a wonderful series of photos you have taken. The weather looks magical to me! Where I live (Auckland, New Zealand) it is never cold enough for snow! And Christmas comes at the height of summer. To me your landscape looks like a Christmas Card. I love the photo of your three dogs sleeping in front of the fire, very cosy indeed. Greetings from sunny Auckland and thanks for such a great post today. Alice

  5. Inger, I do love the snow so much and am anxious for it to arrive here...:)JP

  6. It is very cold and snowing here in Norfolk in the UK and our road is so blocked with snow we can't at the moment get out onto the main road but hopefully we will be able to tomowwow ~ glad the freezer if nice and full ~ Ally x

  7. PS Nin and Barney love this weather ~ but they both have fur coats on and don't feel the cold as much as we do :O) ~ Ally x

  8. I never heard of pogonip! Thanks for educating me. I'm so envious that you have real snow. We haven't had any here yet, and it's late for it not to have arrived. I can't wait until the first morning I wake up and find the world covered in white. I guess I'm one with Samson there.

  9. I've never heard of pogonip either--How interesting!! It reminds me of when we lived in Alaska and used terms like lower 48, outside, sourdough, termination dust, bunny boots to name a few...Hope your week is off to a good and warmer start--It looks so cozy-warm and inviting in your house!

  10. texwisgirl: I went out today and enjoy the snow. I'm tired now for sure.

    Tracy: Good thing with the snow here: It melts after a few days.

    Terry: It looked like a white sandstorm for a while.

    Alice: Your scenery is so dramatic though. I am a fan of The Lord of the Rings and you live in a gorgeous country. Christmas in summer would take some getting used to. It was bad enough in Los Angeles, but at least it got a little bit cold.

    JP: I am waiting to see all the east coast and southern blog farms and homes covered in snow too.

    Ally: Fur helps, I'm sure. Samson says, the more fur the better. I have to go see where Norfolk is located. I lived in London and in Kent when I lived in the UK.

    Louise: I am waiting for your snow too. It has been cold here today, so we still have some left.

    Kim: It said they had pogonip in Alaska. I had never heard of it either until last year.

  11. Thanks for the weather lesson, Inger. We do get pogonip (love that word and will be using it alot now!) occasionally here because of our humidity levels and it does leave a gorgeous coating of white on everything.

    Your puppies are so cute all snuggled up together. Sioux has discovered the woodstove and will not budge from there. Buck is happier in cooler parts of the house since he has thick fur. Hope you had a glorious day!

  12. Samson is a beautiful dog, reminds me of a dog we rescued. We named him Bear. He's no longer with us but your photos help me remember him. Thanks.
    Terry Scott Mann

  13. Interesting phenomenon....Pogonip.
    Love the dog pictures Inger! Especially all three together. They must really like each other.
    You are way ahead of us as far as snow goes. We are waiting....

  14. I had not heard of pogonip before, so thank you Inger! We are having a downpour of rain currently, but lookin for cold temps in a day or so. Stay warm.

  15. Hi Inger - Man, it looks cold there! I'm so glad to hear you got transportation again -- yeah!!!! Enjoy the jeep:) I'm guessing you'll be listening to a little Eagles music on your road trips to town. Have a great week!

  16. what nice pictures and i love the explanation of what pogonip is - i have never heard of this!! i bet that was something great to see. boy, the dogs sure look comfy! i love to see spoiled dogs! they got it made. brrr... stay warm. here in the high desert it's supposed to be 24 and that's very cold for us but you have far surpassed that already. hope you get more bright, crisp, snowy days that want to make you run outside and be in it!

  17. Ok... snow in California? We visited snow exactly two times throughout my entire childhood. I remember being fascinated by it when we finally moved to Chicago. Will you have cold temps all winter?

  18. Nancy: It is seldom humid here, as far as I know, so pogonip is probably rare.

    Terry: I'm glad you like Samson. He blogs too, here, sometimes when he feels like it.

    Jabacue: I love it when they snuggle together too.

    Farmchick: I hope you get some snow soon.

    Rachael: You bet I will! And it's so cold the snow is still here, which is unusual. It's icy too.

    Hopeful: It ws in the teens again at this end of the high desert. Well, I guess I am in the mountains, actually.

    Allison: We're at 4,141 ft. here, according to Google Earth, so that's why we get the cold and snow in the winter. It usually melts in a day or two, but this time it has been really cold so we still have snow.


Thanks for leaving a comment.. ~~ Inger


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