|There's an arrow pointing to what Moss Landing usually looks like on a cloudy day across the bay. Not zoomed in at all.|
Back in May, Roger and I went to the beach house in Capitola to celebrate my birthday with my twin brother. The three of us went for a walk and looked out across Monterey Bay and saw this.
Moss Landing Power Plant. Those stacks are visible throughout the Monterey Bay area. They are definitely a landmark. On this day they appeared half-way covered by a fog bank or something. My brother told me he had seen them like this a number of times. Dully reflective and strangely optical. I was intrigued, but not excited. The above photo was taken at noon. At 12:25 it looked like this.
I can't begin to understand how this image is possible. Seriously. What are we looking at here? I have no idea. But that's what we saw, and I'm going to embark on a journey of enlightenment to find out. I'll keep you posted.
Here is Les Cowley's response:
"Your mirage is a superior type, so called because the extra images are above the object being miraged. Air normally gets cooler with increasing height. When there is a cold ocean current the air near to the waves gets cooled and there is a temperature inversion - cool air below warmer. In California in some months it is exacerbated by warm air coming off the land and layering above the cool ocean air. Light gets refracted as it crosses the temperature gradients of the inversion and forms the mirage.
At Santa Cruz you have an inverted image of the coastline and buildings above the horizon. The inversion layer does not extend to the height of the chimneys and so they poke out from the mirage apparently unaffected."
He wrote that there is a hint of a Fata Morgana as well.
He also sent a link to another photo on his website. I highly recommend that you take a look.