The Magic Valley Experiences Ice Fog and Pogonip
Pogonip is the Shoshone Indian word for frost left behind by Ice Fog, and I think the patterns it creates are beautiful.
As far as we can tell, the first recorded use of the word “Pogonip” was around 1865. Derived from the Shoshone word paγi̵nappi̵h, which means “cloud,” some early settlers called it “white death” because they believed the crystals got into their lungs and caused death. It’s really a dense, icy fog containing frozen particles that’s formed in the western United States.
Pogonip seems to be particular to our region in the Western United States. The first time I heard the word I was living in Northern Nevada. Interestingly, despite the Shoshone influence in Southern Idaho, many Idahoans are unfamiliar with the term.
The National Weather Service predicts freezing fog through Wednesday (Jan. 22), so it looks like we’ll see more beautiful Pogonip as well.