|Sunrise Mirage ~
Sunrise over the lower Mokelumne River, near Isleton, California in the Sacramento Delta (above San Francisco Bay). Images by James "Newt" Perdue. "The outside temperature was 35F and there was heavy fog over the area. "
©James "Newt" Perdue, shown with permission
A stack of sun-stuff pancakes pushes up through the mist. Each pancake or slice is a separate miraged sun image. Some slices have the sun rising, in others the image is inverted and the sun is sinking. Each slice marks a temperature inversion layer where the 'normal' lapse rate of air slowly cooling with increasing height is replaced by warmer air above cooler. Overnight radiation cooling of the surface is likely responsible. The inversion layers can be quite narrow and close to ground level.