Inversion‘ is a meteorology phenomena in my area in Switzerland: typically the air gets colder the higher you get up in the mountains. But under special conditions during Fall/Winter time, it is possible that cold air is on the ground, and it is warmer in the higher mountain areas. To the point that the valleys are filled with fog (‘sea of fog’).

Inversion, view from the Wildspitz

Inversion, view from the Wildspitz, very clear inversion situation

Below is such a ‘sea of fog’, seen from the top of the Wildspitz mountain, view to the South and center of the Swiss Alps. The look was probably similar 10’0000 years ago during the last Ice Age.
If there are stable weather and no mixing of the air, it can stay for many days and weeks that way.

Inversion with dynamic fog

Inversion with dynamic fog, view from the Wildspitz

But that ‘sea of fog’ can get very dynamic too, and waves going up and down. The video from Cornel Suter shows this very nicely:

Happy Inverting 🙂

6 thoughts on “Inversion

  1. Fog is an endless fascination. I once lived on a farm at the bottom of a significant hill. The hill was forested, the “bottomland” near the river was fields. I sat on my porch one evening as the fog rolled down out of the forest and across the fields. Not an inversion, really, just cool air flowing out of the trees at the end of the day. You could see the cresting waves as the ground provided some resistance, so the air higher up flowed more freely, curling over the top and crashing, just like waves at the shore. Beautiful and entrancing… Thanks for this 🙂


  2. Erich, fantastic shots. Never made it to Switzerland, Austria was the closest, now I really need to make a trip.
    The inversions may be creating beauty but the create all sorts of havoc on microwave relay links the pass through the effected area.
    Have a great day.


  3. Utah is the same. Many of the valleys have inversions in the winter. I’ve seen the fog in valleys last 35-45 days. The air pollution gets really horrible during the inversions.


    • Yes, pollution is a problem because the air does not get exchanged or moved around inside the fog. Trees get snow crystals on them, and this can affect the trees badly if the pollution is bad too.


  4. Pingback: My First DIY Smoked Beef Brisket: Day 2 – the Way and the Result | MCU on Eclipse

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