Chattanooga’s Kodak-ready natural occurrence? Cloud inversions.
While cloud inversions aren’t specific to Chattanooga, the city’s serendipitous combination of being located next to the Tennessee River — which creates an abundance of moisture that can turn to mist — and having various accessible overlooks like Snooper’s Rock make it a prime location for viewing the unique weather phenomenon.
And while you may not have heard the phrase “cloud inversion” before, if you follow any Chattanoogan with a camera on social media, you’ve definitely seen it.
The weather event is also known as a temperature inversion, and it’s exactly what it sounds like — the result of the normal distribution of air inverting, aka, cool air being trapped beneath warm air.
So, how to see it in person and snap a photo of your own? While there’s no foolproof way to predict a cloud inversion occurrence, the Tennessee River Gorge Trust recently shared a few conditions that are conducive to cloud inversions, so you can try to predict when the next one will take place:
- Temperature that meets the dew point
- Relatively high humidity
- Not too much wind + calm conditions
- Longer nights (aka, you’re more likely to see these in the fall + winter)
- No incoming fronts
Pro Tip: once the sun fully rises, these inversions will often dissipate + clear, so you’re more likely to catch one in its full glory during sunrise. We’re envisioning a crisp autumn morning with coffee in hand + views across the land. 😍
Wondering where you can view a cloud inversion locally? These spots have all given way to beautiful views during this weather event: