I write a lot. Some of the columns are meant to inform, others are lighter and a bit more entertaining.
Every once in a while, a column will trigger a lot of reaction from readers. Last month I wrote about the “green flash.”
Not many people have seen the elusive green flash and even fewer have been able to capture it on camera. I decided to put together a few letters from readers who have had the good fortune of seeing the optical phenomenon.
Several years ago, my wife, Patricia, our son, Stephen, and my Mom, Marian, during our March break, went to the island of St. Maarten in the Caribbean.
We arrived on a Saturday and just before sunset were down at the pool. The bartender told us that when the sun set there would be a “green flash.” We didn’t know what he meant by that, so he explained it. Sure enough, just as the sun set below the horizon, there was an explosion of the most emerald green you had ever seen.
Three nights later we were out on the ocean for a sunset dinner cruise and again, just as the sun set, we saw the green flash a second time. It was incredible!
After coming home, we did some investigating of this phenomenon and read that not a lot of people have seen it, as it only occurs under certain weather conditions. Yet we saw it twice in the same week. We have been south numerous times since but have never seen it again.
It truly was a sight to behold!
Joe & Patricia Stock, Oyster Bed Bridge, P.E.I.
And this one from Ted Laurentius, St. John’s, N.L.:
I read your piece in the Telegram yesterday about the green flash at sunset and today you were asking for reports from those that had seen it.
I have been a recreational sailor for a long time and weather has always fascinated me as well as the physics behind it, being an engineer. There are many accounts of the green flash in sailing-related articles and books that I have read about this phenomenon; for years I have looked at countless sunsets to see it for myself. The only one I ever saw was in Barbados looking towards the horizon as the sun dipped below it and there it was. There was a friend of mine with me and I looked at her and asked if she had seen it, too, to which she answered ‘yes,’ so I had not been imagining it. The sky was clear, and it was a distinctive green flash just as the upper limb of the sun dipped below the distinctive horizon where the sky met the sea. I have been looking for it since and have yet to see it again. I was under the impression that it was more likely to be seen in the tropics, but I still look for it where I sail here in Newfoundland, too.
I enjoy your daily column.
Cheers, Ted Laurentius
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Cindy Day is the chief meteorologist for SaltWire Network.