I love to get mail - especially when it comes from curious minds. The other day, June Little was curious about something: the blue land off to the distance. She sent along a photo and asked, “why do New Brunswick and Isle Haute look so blue some days?”
In case you’re not familiar with Isle Haute, it’s an island in the Bay of Fundy near the entrance to the Minas Basin. Isle Haute is easily seen from Advocate Harbour on the Nova Scotia side and from Alma on the New Brunswick side.
Let’s start with the colour of air. Did you know that air is not completely transparent? Solar radiation, aka sunlight, or any other electromagnetic radiation is scattered by particles much smaller than the wavelength of the radiation. This process is known as Rayleigh scattering. Rayleigh scattering was named after the British physicist Lord Rayleigh. It’s the reason for the blue color of the sky and the yellow tone of the sun.
That’s part of the answer, June. Distant objects appear bluer because of another optical effect called atmospheric perspective. The strength and visibility of reds and yellows are muted by distance, leaving the landscape to appear blue. The same effect tints distant mountains as well. The farther away an object is, the bluer it can appear to the eye.
That’s what was going on over the Bay of Fundy on Sunday. Great question!
If you have a weather-related question, don’t hesitate to send it along. I’ll do my best to answer it. You can email your questions to WeatherMail@WeatherbyDay.ca
Read more about Isle Haute
- Throwback Thursday: Keeper of Isle O’Haute lighthouse
- MP Bill Casey: Isle Haute should be national wildlife area
Today’s weather fact
We’ve been on a weather rollercoaster lately with wild temperature swings. So, what is normal for mid-April?
For mainland Nova Scotia, normal daytime highs should be between 6 and 8 degrees C with overnight lows ranging from -1 to +1.
For Prince Edward Island, normal daytime highs should be near 7 C with overnight lows just below freezing at -1.
For Newfoundland, normal daytime highs should be between 3 and 6 C, with overnight lows ranging from -3 to -1.
A bit colder in Labrador: the average high for Labrador City is 1 C and the average overnight low is -10.
- Want more weather information? Visit WeatherByDay.ca
Cindy Day is the chief meteorologist for SaltWire Network.