A rare weather event swept into the Grand Canyon yesterday (December 11), resulting in a beautiful, dream-like effect. The National Weather Service tells The Guardian it is called a "total cloud inversion," and it only happens once every few years.
However, this week's events follow the second consecutive year that the national landmark's deep gorges were filled with a thick white ocean of clouds. Thanks to the recent rains plaguing the western end of the country, a dense fog built up in the canyon. Without any overnight winds and a force of warm air, the clouds weren't able to rise and resulted in the unearthly display.
"The clouds were trying to settle in the canyon for the past couple of days, but today we're getting a real show.," the National Parks Service wrote in a Facebook post. "Two years in a row, we've been able to see this impressive inversion!"
The NPS also shared a haunting time-lapse video of the clouds rolling in. In the 1-minute clip you can see the vapor rise and fall along the gorge's great walls like an ocean tide.
The National Weather Service says the Grand Canyon will gradually clear up in the coming days as it looks forward to it's first snowfall of the season.