Eerie Brocken spectre spotted in Peak District

Image source, Jonny OldburyImage caption, The "spooky" sight is best seen during foggy conditions

Walkers out in the foggy conditions at the weekend captured an unusual weather phenomenon.

A rare Brocken spectre – a large shadow cast on to cloud or mist – was spotted in the Peak District on Saturday.

Image source, Steve Churchill

Jonny Oldbury, who was walking solo for the first time in the Derbyshire hills, said it was "quite spooky" to see.

The 37-year-old, from Sale, Greater Manchester, was walking down a steep slope near Lady Clough woods at about 14:00 GMT on Sunday.

"The sun was behind me and I suddenly saw this very eerie shadow cast ahead of me with a rainbow halo which was very disconcerting for a minute and did make me stop dead in my tracks," he said.

"I realised what it was straight away from communication with my friend in Scotland in the past when he saw one and I just had to get a photo of it."

Image source, Jonny OldburyImage caption, Mr Oldbury was walking alone when he saw the weather phenomenon

The Brocken spectre was seen elsewhere in the Peak District on Saturday.

Steve Churchill captured it while at Lord's Seat in the Hope Valley.

He said: "I've never seen anything like it before.

"I was walking with a friend and we both noticed this 'halo' effect around our shadows in the clouds once we had climbed higher than the clouds themselves.

"The first thing we did was take a photo as we didn't know how long it would last.

"It was a big surprise and felt like a beautiful reward for our hiking efforts."

Image source, Steve ChurchillImage caption, Steve Churchill saw the Brocken spectre in the Hope Valley

The Met Office says a Brocken spectre happens when the sun is shining behind the observer and projects their shadow through the mist.

The magnification of the shadow is an optical illusion, which makes the shadow on nearby clouds seem at the same distance as faraway landmarks.

It said: "The shadow falls upon water droplets of varying distance which distorts perception and can make the shadow appear to move as the clouds vary and shift.

"This all combines to make the rather disorienting effect of a giant shadow moving in the distance."

Image source, Wayne WitImage caption, The Brocken spectre was seen in Leicestershire on the same day as cloud inversions

Wayne Wit saw the phenomenon on Bardon Hill, the highest point in Leicestershire.

Ramblers out in the Peak District also witnessed cloud inversions at the weekend – which see clouds form in valleys and appear as if looking out of an aeroplane window.

Image source, Andrew ClarkImage caption, Walkers said the view from Mam Tor in Derbyshire was "amazing"

Follow BBC East Midlands on Facebook, on Twitter, or on Instagram. Send your story ideas to [email protected].

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *