I experienced that once over here while skiing at Loup Loup. Same thing - major inversion going one. The small peaks in the southern end of the Okanogan Range were looking like these huge, apocalyptic buttes, way taller and more massive than their actual size.
It's near the top of my list of times I regret most not having a camera.
Sorry no photo, but one evening last year on Hwy. 9 east of Marysville a low deck of clouds was over the Olympic Mtn. crest and the setting sun was reflecting off that deck, and backlighting the Olympics into these ghostly, giant shapes. Had to pull over and verify what I was looking at and I drive that stretch all the time.
It is the stuff of mirages. When temperature increases with height, as with yesterday's heat inversion, the image is displaced up from the object. The atmosphere acts as a lens rather than a mirror causing images to be refracted rather than reflected. The atmosphere will cause light to bend because of gradual variations in the index of refraction in it. The index of refraction depends on the temperature of the air and the amount of moisture in it. The stronger the temperature gradient (the greater the temperature change with distance) then the stronger the gradient of the index of refraction and thus more bending. If the temperature is the same everywhere in the atmosphere then light travels in a straight line. I am heading out this morning to poach the trough that you guys made in the snow. Maybe we will experience the same atmospheric phenomenon.
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