Maryland Mirages ~
By atmospheric optics expert Claudia Hinz (atmospheric phenomena).
All these mirages are of the 'inferior mirage' type although there is nothing inferior about their appearance. They are called inferior because there is an inverted image below the one normally seen.
Top: Omega sunrise at the southern point of Maryland looking over Chesapeake Bay.
Left: Miraged boats. The choppy horizon is the edge of the mirage.
Lower: A more common manifestation of the same mirage. Patches on a hot road appear to be wet because the mirage mirrors the sky and cars.
Lowest: Ray diagram for the omega mirage. Light is refracted in the density gradient between a lower warm air layer and a higher cooler one. When the density gradient is sufficient, two images are seen. the upper is the 'normal' image, the lower is inverted.
The boat and road mirages were similarly formed.