TBS News has a short video of an unusual sunset viewed from the cape of Notoro on the northern island of Hokkaido. Atmospheric effects above the surface of the sea caused the setting sun to go from its usual circular shape to a mushroom shape, then a sort of bowl shape, and finally a striking trapezoid. The extreme temperature difference that causes this sort of mirage is rare during the summer; it’s usually a winter oddity.
[Update: Video is no longer on TBS's site, but here it is on YouTube.]
JNN, ANN, and other national news outlets are reporting on an unusual cloud formation recorded off the coast of the northern island of Hokkaido. The unnaturally straight lines of cloud formed over the northern Ohoutsuku sea, about 40km off the coast. The clouds were filmed on the afternoon of June 18th by a Japanese Coast Guard patrol plane, as seen in this video clip. The Coast Guard has said that the bottom of the stripes is about 300 meters above the surface of the ocean, and they are over 100km long. The clouds are of a common type formed by wind that causes ripples similar to the waves in water, but lines this distinctive are rare, and it’s even rarer to see them from above—the pilot of the plane was quoted as saying he’d never seen anything like it in his 35 years in the air.