Wednesday May 16, 2012 was one of those days over Oregon and Washington.
Carrie, on my facebook weather page, posted this: “As we were driving, my 6 year old started saying that there were rainbows in the clouds. I thought he was making it up!”
As the parent of a six year old myself, I can sure understand that. But this time the six year old was right on the money!
These are called 22 degree Halos. Sunlight is made up of the complete rainbow of colors. Usually we just see an orange sun and a blue sky. But in this case the ice crystals in these high clouds act like tiny prisms. They show off these rainbow colors and arrange them in a halo shape.
This shot near Mt. Hood is awesome. Look at those rainbow colors. This is actually a big ring around the sun–but only the part parallel to the ground is usually visible. And sometimes just in small sections. Here are some more of these ‘Circumhorizon Arcs’ as they’re called.
In researching this blog post, I discovered that the sun has to be a certain elevation in the sky for these to even be possible. So in Portland and Seattle these can only appear from April to September.
This week it was quite a show. Thanks for your pictures that made this post possible!