In Karl’s Absence, Karla the Fog Floats In

The future (of fog) is female.

Our goodbye to Karl the Fog was a lot like the weather itself: quiet, slow, and a little nebulous. For 10 years, @KarlTheFog gave San Francisco’s trademark climate a voice on Twitter and in print. It was a little snarky, and so very confident, lending the city’s low-flying clouds an iconic personality that made life (ironically) a little brighter — even when it blocked out the sun.

But after tweeting support for the Super Bowl-bound 49ers on Jan. 19, the beloved San Francisco Twitter celebrity fell silent. For the past 10 months, Karl’s 355,000 followers have had to look out the window or scroll through their weather apps to find out just what our city’s highly active marine layer has been up to.

Thankfully, Karl’s got a new companion — Karla the Fog (@fog_karla) — ready to fill the void while Karl is on his indefinite hiatus. Karla dubs herself Karl’s “unofficial replacement.” She too felt the absence left by Karl, and felt like Twitter users could use a happy break while doomscrolling.

“It was kind of like he ghosted SF,” Karla said, in a DM to our reporter. “The Fog went through a period of voiceless was [sic] and confusion, but I felt like what our world needed was a different kind of Fog for these unprecedented times.”

Karla knows that locals will welcome her presence, though newcomers may be a bit “standoffish” at first. Karla has already amassed over 1,000 followers since her first tweet on Sep. 15, and it’s hopeful that people will grow to love her own take on our foggy weather. She calls herself “open yet obscuring… funny or punny depending on my mood… cold but comforting.”

“I am a private kind of weather phenomenon, so I like to keep things … foggy,” Karla says.

Karla sees a lot of value in the fog, even if it can be a little aggravating when you’re trying to catch clear views of the Golden Gate Bridge or the San Francisco skyline. It’s like a breath of fresh air, a weather that brings calm to chaos, a soothing balm for chaotic days, a welcome change in the place of the hectic energy or rain or glaring heat of sunshine.

“I’m calming and consistent. I never yell, threaten, or destroy, unlike other weather,” Karla says. “Some people describe me as healing, which is what the world needs more of now.”

Karl could make his return eventually, and it’d be exciting for the two personalities to meet online. But for now, Karla is here to bring a little light to our timelines whenever the fog comes rolling in.

Grace Z. Li covers arts, culture and food for SF Weekly. You can reach her on Twitter @gracezhali, though her tweets are not nearly as good as Karla’s.

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