National Weather Service kills off Karl the Fog

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The National Weather Service Bay Area tweeted a Halloween forecast with an epitaph for Karl the Fog posted on a wooden sign. Photo: National Weather Service

Karl the Fog is dead.

The National Weather Service killed off the nickname for San Francisco’s omnipresent blanket of moisture in its Halloween forecast, predicting mostly clear skies and above-normal temperatures for the Bay Area.

Scroll through this gallery for a glimpse of Nicholas Steinberg's stunning fog photographs. Photo: Courtesy Nicholas Steinberg

NWS’s Bay Area office tweeted a graveyard scene with Karl’s epitaph posted in tiny letters on a wooden sign: “Final resting place of Karl the Fog,” it reads.
Mount TamalpaisNicholas Steinberg's stunning fog photographs capture the essence of Bay Area's famed weather phenomenon. Photo: Courtesy Nicholas Steinberg
Karl was only eight years old. The personification of the city’s famous fog was created in 2010 when a twitter user, who has kept his real identity under wraps, launched the @KarltheFog twitter account and started sharing daily postings in the fog’s voice. SF Weekly uncovered in 2013 that Karl gets his name from a character in the 2003 Tim Burton flick “Big Fish.”
Mount TamalpaisNicholas Steinberg's stunning fog photographs capture the essence of Bay Area's famed weather phenomenon. Photo: Courtesy Nicholas Steinberg

The account now has followers and locals often sending tweets to Karl blaming him for their picnics ruined by his soggy weather and bemoaning his cloudy ways on the Fourth of July.

Golden Gate BridgeNicholas Steinberg's stunning fog photographs capture the essence of Bay Area's famed weather phenomenon. Photo: Courtesy Nicholas Steinberg

Some natives find him aggravating and lament the infiltration of the tech world into weather reports, and when we reference him in SFGATE stories readers often share outrage in the comments. A poll on SFGATE revealed readers are pretty evenly split between their favor and disfavor of Karl with about 5 percent more people expressing dislike.

Mount TamalpaisNicholas Steinberg's stunning fog photographs capture the essence of Bay Area's famed weather phenomenon. Photo: Courtesy Nicholas Steinberg

The National Weather Service has had fun with Karl and often gives nods to him in social media.

“The experience we’ve had in our office has been very positive toward Karl,” says Brian Garcia, a meteorologist in the NWS’s Bay Area office in Monterey. “For us, on a personal level, it makes us laugh. It’s a weather nerdy thing.”

Mount TamalpaisNicholas Steinberg's stunning fog photographs capture the essence of Bay Area's famed weather phenomenon. Photo: Courtesy Nicholas Steinberg

And so it’s probably no surprise the Weather Service doesn’t see Karl’s death as permanent. The bottom of Karl’s epitaph, which is very hard to read without a magnifying glass, says, “May rise again soon.”

Mount TamalpaisNicholas Steinberg's stunning fog photographs capture the essence of Bay Area's famed weather phenomenon. Photo: Courtesy Nicholas Steinberg

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