If a Norwegian mountain town can solve its lack of winter sunshine with technology, maybe the Yakima Valley can as well.

Tucked away in a Norwegian mountain valley, the town of Rjukan has to deal with a lack of winter sunshine in two ways. First, at its northern latitude, days are pretty short. Second, being located surrounded by steep mountains, the town is cast in shadows even when the sky is a brilliant blue overhead. Some residents catch a tram to the top of a nearby peak to catch some rays at midday. Now, thanks to an idea born over a century ago, people can catch a little sun during the winter right in their town square.

Here in the Yakima Valley, we deal with a lack of winter sunshine, especially in the month of January. However, it has more to do with clouds and fog that get trapped in our valleys than an actual deficit of sun. During the cold months, clouds get trapped at the surface, while a dome of cold dry air builds over the top. While the sun is shining brightly at higher elevations, its gray and dreary elsewhere.

Could technology be a remedy?

How about orchardists all turning on their wind machines to get the air moving in the valley to scour out the gloom? Or having all of us stand outside with leaf blowers and hair dryers. Maybe like the Norwegians, we use giant machines like big fans and blowers to blow out the stagnant air and bring back our winter sun.

Come on people, think big!

Get the complete story of Rjukan's big mirrors here.