ST. LOUIS – The dense fog early Saturday morning may have caused some headaches for travelers trying to get in and out of St. Louis Lambert International Airport, but it also offered up an opportunity for some amazing pictures. 

Philip Patterson was returning to St. Louis on an early morning flight from Tampa after enjoying the Thanksgiving holiday with his family.  Moments before his flight was scheduled to land, he opened the shade on his window.

Several thousand feet below, he saw something unlike anything he had seen before.  

The dense fog early Saturday morning may have caused some headaches for travelers trying to get in and out of St. Louis Lambert International Airport, but it also offered up an opportunity for some amazing pictures. (Photo courtesy: Philip Patterson)

“I couldn’t believe it,” said Patterson. “The city was just enveloped in this white foam, it seemed like.  It looked apocalyptic almost.” 

A photographer by trade, Patterson knew this was a shot he had to get.  But without his high-end Nikon D750 that he usually uses, Patterson was left with the best camera he had available was his cell phone.  

The picture he captured and later posted to Facebook quickly went viral.  

”It blew my mind. I had friends telling me they were getting into group chats and the photo was being shared around,” said Patterson.

The picture has become so popular that Patterson is now selling digital copies online.  He has sold several already through his Facebook page.

The fog was the result of leftover high humidity trapped near the ground following the Thanksgiving rainfall.  As clouds cleared away Friday night, temperatures close to the ground cooled rapidly forcing that invisible water vapor to condense rapidly into a shallow canopy of dense fog, made up of countless tiny water droplets.  

Nearly all commercial aircraft are equipped to land with clouds down to 200 feet and a half mile of visibility.  Some can go even lower with the right equipment.  But when the visibility drops to near zero as it did Saturday, there is not much else pilots can do except wait for the fog to clear or divert to another airport and hope passengers like Phil Patterson can find the beauty in it all. 

If you want to contact Phil about buying a copy of his now famous picture, you can contact him through his Facebook page.