Using Mirage To Determine Wind Speed And Direction

by
posted on August 22, 2018
miragewind1.jpg
Mirage is the shimmering effect you see in the far distance as you drive down the highway on a summer afternoon. It's caused by the sun heating the ground, which in turn heats the air above, causing it to rise in shimmering, rolling waves. Shooting through a severe mirage is like firing at a target lying on the bottom of a swimming pool. While very distracting, mirage can also help you judge wind speed and direction. Viewing mirage is easiest when seen against a plain background with some high contrast detail, like the black and white of the target or the target numbers.

When there is little or no wind, the mirage seems to boil, wiggle or dance in front of the target. As the wind begins to pick up velocity, say to between two and five mph, the mirage begins to flow in the direction of the wind, and it will carry the apparent image of the target along with it. Thus, while the target appears to be in one spot, in reality it's actually in a slightly different place. For example, on a hot day with a light wind from the shooter's left at 900, the target will actually be slightly to the left and below from where it appears to be when viewed through the sights or scope, and you'll need to adjust your sights or hold slightly to compensate. Once the wind speed reaches about 12 to 15 mph, the visible mirage tends to flatten out and is no longer usable as an accurate indicator of wind speed or direction.

Latest

Rivalreddot 1
Rivalreddot 1

New: Rival Arms X1 Red-Dot Sight

Rival Arms adds X1 Red-Dot Sight with RMR-compatible mounting system to product lineup.

Team Federal’s Klemashevich, Bell Take Top Spots At 2023 Steel Classic Texas Precision Match

Team Federal shooters Cory Klemashevich and Greg Bell won their respective divisions at the Leupold Steel Classic Precision Match last month in Navasota, Texas. This was the first PRS match of the 2023 season.

USA Shooting: Sagen Maddalena, Alison Weisz Earn Gold Medals At Back-To-Back European Competitions

Last month in Europe, Sagen Maddalena landed a gold medal at the Meyton Cup and Alison Weisz captured a gold and bronze at the H&N Cup. The two U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit shooters earned their medals in Women’s Air Rifle events.

U.S. Air Force Pistol Team: A Hardball Odyssey

Dr. Robert “Doc” Engelmeier documented his time as a member of the U.S. Air Force Pistol Team after joining in the late 1980s, providing us a fascinating glimpse into what being a competitor was like back then.

U.S. Army Contracts Winchester For 6.8 mm NGSW Ammunition Production

Winchester Ammunition lands U.S. Army contract to produce five million 6.8 mm NGSW rounds at the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant in Missouri.

Competitors’ Corner: February 2023

Highlights from the February 2023 issue of Shooting Sports USA, the NRA’s competitive shooting journal.

Interests



Get the best of Shooting Sports USA delivered to your inbox.