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Those hazy, crazy days of winter
A break in the grayness over next 8 days
WILDART SUN1-1-20-11a
The sun set at Mossdale Crossing on Wednesday without a trace of fog in sight. - photo by HIME ROMERO
Steven Thomas isn’t a fan when the San Joaquin Valley Tule Fog rears its ugly head in the late winter months.

The 13-year-old would rather be out in the street playing football with his friends, or heading down to the park to play a game of pickup basketball.

But with the moisture covering just about everything it touches, grass surfaces are out of the question and concrete – especially the painted kind that can be found at some city parks – can be downright dangerous.

“My parents are always pushing me to get out of the house and play, but nobody wants to do anything when it’s foggy outside,” Thomas said. “Hide-and-go-seek is fun, but there is only so much of that you can do.”

Fortunately for Thomas, the Valley has experienced a slight break in the hazy weather that allows for more outdoor opportunities not just for young kids, but for adults as well.

The National Weather Service expects mostly sunny skies for the next eight days except for a chance of morning fog on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Except for today when the high is only expected to reach 59 degrees, the forecast calls for temperatures to reach the low 60s through next Thursday.

Manteca resident Christina Thurner spends the majority of the foggy work-week hours behind a desk helping customers, but that doesn’t mean that she can’t peer outside and see how gloomy things actually are.

But unlike those who travel to high ground at the first chance they get, Thurner actually welcomes the fog because “it reminds her of morning” regardless of what time of day it is.

“Sometimes I’ll go over to the Bay Area on the weekends where it’s sunny, but for the most part I like the fog because it reminds me of morning all day long,” she said. “It can be a little much sometimes, and it’s good to see the sun, but I like living in a place where fog is an annual thing.”

Stephanie Jenkins, however, has a completely different take on the phenomenon that starts at the ground and seems to stretch on for miles if the conditions are appropriate.

Rather than waiting for the sun to actually shine through, the retired Jenkins packs up her car and heads up to the mountains where she gets the opportunity to see the sun. Even though she might encounter a little bit of snow, the cold beats the fog, she says.

“I just can’t stand not being able to see the sun for 10 days straight,” Jenkins said. “My hat goes off to those people in Alaska. There’s no way that could ever be me.”