On extremely rare days, cold air trapped in the canyon and topped by a layer of warm air, in combination with moisture and condensation, form the phenomenon referred to as the full cloud inversion. In what resembles something between ocean waves and fast clouds, Grand Canyon is completely obscured by fog, making the visitors feel as if they are walking on clouds. The full inversions, which mostly take place in the late fall or early winter, are sometimes followed by huge snowstorms, as depicted here.
This video was filmed as part of SKYGLOW, an ongoing crowdfunded quest to explore the effects and dangers of urban light pollution in contrast with some of the most incredible dark sky areas in North America.
Bottom line: SKYGLOW video showing a full cloud inversion over the Grand Canyon.
Eleanor Imster has helped write and edit EarthSky since 1995. She was an integral part of the award-winning EarthSky radio series almost since it began until it ended in 2013. Today, as Lead Editor at EarthSky.org, she helps present the science and nature stories and photos you enjoy. She also serves as one of the voices of EarthSky on social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and G+. She and her husband live in Tennessee and have two grown sons.