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Credit: E. Wiebe

This image, taken on the Strait of Georgia, shows two kinds of mirages. A towering mirage stretches objects vertically while a superior inverted mirage shows near surface objects upside-down as though reflected.

Both of these mirages require an inversion in the atmosphere with cold air lying beneath warmer air. The boundary between the two layers is quite sharp. This is common in the warm(er) season because the ocean surface temperature in the Strait of Georgia changes very little over the course of the year while the atmosphere can warm up quite a bit in summer.

Here's a couple of helpful images.

One of the best science sites on the internet, Atmospheric Optics Picture of the Day shows a superior Superior mirage.

UVic / SEOS / Climate Group / About Front Page Picture / Mirages Last updated: Monday, 07-May-2012 08:55:45 PDT
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