The Haystacks Were Hovering Today
(Feb 2019) … When I looked down the beach today, while driving to the point, the ice breakers or haystacks looked really tall, too tall. The ships in the background were floating, and the Jersey coast was floating. It was cool to see this mirage today while I was exploring and hunting for a bird picture (snowy owl).
I swear trying to find a bird is just as bad as trying to find a fish, actually probably worse. At least the beach always has something going on to entertain visitors. Today it was floating ice breakers and ships. Now the ships were more washed out than normal for this mirage but the ice breakers or haystacks looked on point, from the point.
This phenomenon is called Fata Morgana, a type of mirage. This image is created by layers of warm to colder air that pile up or layer from a pressure system. Usually the wind mixes these layers up and you don’t get this reflection of an image. This floating image is created by an inversion layer, because the colder air is on the bottom of the layer and the warmer air is on top. Usually the colder air is on top of these “layers”. The particles in the warmer layer are less dense and images will travel through them faster and easier. The light path or reflection you see is bent, and makes the object appear to be in the air. Because the warmer air on the top of these layers or inversions projects the image first, making it appear that the ice breaker is floating in the air or flying as it moves across the distant horizon.