January is always the doldrums of winter. This is when we get the coldest temperatures and the stillest air, when the snow falls and doesn’t melt, when everything is at its dirtiest and ugliest. It’s also usually the only time of the year that we get any appreciable amount of fog, and fog and cold temperatures add up to pogonip!

The other morning there was some serious pogonip down by the Carson River. The cold water and humidity that surrounds the river usually creates a localized fog bank even when there is no fog anywhere else. That fog bank froze and crystallized onto anything it could grab, resulting in some awesome pogonip.

This doesn’t happen often, and usually only during this month, so now is the time to look for it. There is a weather warning over the whole region for more fog to be coming in tonight, so in the morning you just might wake up to find some pogonip at your house!


  1. I know some locals call this hoar frost stuff “pogonip”, but I’ve always read that pogonip is an ice fog, not the frozen residue.

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