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A Sea of Clouds Fills the Grand Canyon

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Weather conditions in Arizona's Grand Canyon last week gave rise to a rare phenomenon called total cloud inversion. Last Friday, and again on Sunday, the ground apparently released some of its heat rapidly enough at dawn to create a layer of cool, damp air inside the canyon, trapping it beneath the unusually warmer sky above the canyon walls and filling the space with a sea of fog. Park officials said the phenomenon is a once-in-a-decade occurrence and ran to capture these fantastic photos. (If your display can support it, I recommend selecting the 1280px option below.) [12 photos]

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A rare total inversion was seen on November 29, 2013 by visitors to Grand Canyon National Park. This shot is of the Desert View Watchtower near Desert View Point on the South Rim. The Watchtower is located at Desert View, the eastern-most developed area on the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. Recognized as a National Historic Landmark, the tower was constructed in 1932. (National Park Service/Erin Huggins)
A rare total inversion was seen on November 29, 2013 by visitors to Grand Canyon National Park. This shot is of the Desert View Watchtower near Desert View Point on the South Rim. The Watchtower is located at Desert View, the eastern-most developed area on the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. Recognized as a National Historic Landmark, the tower was constructed in 1932. (National Park Service/Erin Huggins)
This view of the total cloud inversion is from Mather Point on the Grand Canyon's South Rim. (National Park Service/Erin Whittaker) #
A view of the total cloud inversion from Desert View Point, on November 29, 2013. The view is of the Palisades of the Desert, with Comanche Point of in the distance. (National Park Service/Erin Huggins) #
View from Desert View Point, looking east toward Cedar Mountain, on November 29, 2013. (National Park Service/Erin Huggins) #
A total inversion seen from the Grand Canyon's Shoshone Point, on December 1, 2013. (National Park Service/Erin Whittaker) #
Another view from Shoshone Point, on December 1, 2013. (National Park Service/Erin Whittaker) #
The December 1 inversion, viewed from Shoshone Point on the South Rim. (National Park Service/Erin Whittaker) #
Total inversion and frosty rocks, seen from from Shoshone Point on the South Rim, December 1, 2013. (National Park Service/Erin Whittaker) #
A sea of clouds fills the Grand Canyon, seen from Yavapai Point on the South Rim, on December 1, 2013. (National Park Service/Erin Whittaker) #
Looking west from Desert View Point, on November 29, 2013. (National Park Service/Erin Huggins) #
A rare total inversion, seen from Mather Point on the South Rim, on November 29, 2013. (National Park Service/Erin Whittaker) #
A total cloud inversion in the Grand Canyon, viewed from Mather Point on the South Rim. (National Park Service/Erin Whittaker) #

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