U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
News.bytes extra, issue 186
Pogonip hits northern California public lands
Pogonip rhas paid several visits to Northern California this winter. It brought bone-chilling cold for area residents, but left behind a winter wonderland of scenery. These photos were taken before the recent major snowstorm hit the area.
Pogonip, or ice fog, results in a phenomenon called "hoarfrost," which is a deposit of interlocking ice crystals on objects exposed to cold, foggy air. Dazzling winter scenes are revealed as tree limbs, leaves, fence wires are coated with the ice. As the fog burns off in the daylight hours, there are a few magical moments when the hoarfrost glistens in the sun, beautifully contrasted against azure skies.
Seen from BLM-managed public lands north of Susanville, the
Honey Lake Valley is blanketed by a thick layer of ice fog, or pogonip:
For a short time after the pogonip leaves, the hoarfrost remains.
The interlocking ice crystals encase leaves:
The crystals attach themselves even to the tiniest grass plants close to the
The crystals settle along pine needles....
And onto the autumn leaves still stubbornly clinging to their
As the day warms, the ice begins to drop from the edges of the
leaves, and a winter wonderland begins to melt into memory:
Photographs by Jeff Fontana, BLM northern California public affairs specialist, 12/4/04
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