I know the saying is, “stop and smell the roses”, but what stops us in our tracks faster than an amazing sunset? The vibrant colors, the changing before your eyes kaleidoscope of colors, a masterpiece painting. When visitors come to Florida they often comment about the amazing sunsets. Then again there isn’t another state where you could watch the sun rise over the ocean in the morning, and then watch it set over the gulf in the evening. So what causes sunsets to be more brilliant in different places of the country and times of the year? Lets look at a few factors.
Sunsets, Smog & Pollen
“They say the smog is the reason we have such beautiful sunsets.” Is this really true? Well lets look at a couple factors such as dust, pollen and smog. If it were strictly true that low-level dust, pollen and haze were responsible for brilliant sunsets then cities such as New York, Los Angeles, London, and Mexico City would be known for their amazing sunsets. The truth is when these items are present in abundance in the lower atmosphere as they often are over urban areas, they actually subdue the colors. Clean air is, in fact, the main ingredient common to brightly colored sunrises and sunsets.
So What’s The Reason?
When the sunlight first comes over the horizon or just as its getting ready to set the sunlight has to travel much further through the atmosphere on a a long angle reach the ground. This lengthened path results in an larger amount of violet and blue light being scattered out of the beam by the nearly infinite number of scattering “events” that occur along the way the light that reaches an observer early or late in the day is noticeably reddened. During mid day when the sun is overhead the sunlight travels a shorter distance through the atmosphere and we see a deep blue sky. If you want some scientific reasoning you should read this amazing description.
What should you do?
Take your time, plan your dinner or your evening paddle to be able to take the time to just watch. Sunsets are amazing, no two are ever the same, and no matter how much we try with technology to capture one, its never the same as watching it unfold in front of your eyes. So when you are in Florida the next time, make sure you plan to enjoy at least one sunset, preferably while you are on a board.