Sometimes you see things that don’t seem to make any sense.   This morning, Lloyd and Betty tweeted a question about something they observed, but could not explain.  They live along the Cobequid Bay.  Tuesday, before the storm rolled in, they were looking out and noticed that the other side of the bay looked quite a bit closer than usual. Impossible, right?  Well the shore was no closer, but I believe that it did appear that way: closer and higher up.  

Lloyd and Betty witnessed an optical illusion known as a mirage. A mirage is a naturally occurring optical phenomenon in which light rays are bent to produce a displaced image of distant objects or the sky.

There are several types of mirages; this one is a superior mirage.  It occurs when the air below the line of sight is colder than the air above it.  This unusual arrangement is called a temperature inversion. The light rays are bent down as they travel through the temperature inversion, and so the image appears closer and above the true object, hence the name superior. 

What’s not to love about the science of meteorology!


Chief Meteorologist

Cindy Day