Rare 'Fire Rainbow' Spotted At Jersey Shore

May 29, 2019


This is a shot of one of the fire rainbows that were visible at the Jersey Shore over Memorial Day weekend, as captured by beachgoer Packy McCormick. What's a fire rainbow? "From the looks of this one, a misnomer." Valid. Let's find out more:

Two of the fire rainbows -- known scientifically as circumhorizontal arcs -- were actually spotted Sunday in Avalon and Ventnor. The beautiful weather events are caused by light passing through thin and wispy cirrus clouds and being refracted.

"These can only form with high cirrus clouds, because they are made out of purely ice crystals," explained AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dave Samuhel.

"However, they can be seen farther north in the summer, since the sun angle is higher," he said. "They are 46 degrees from the sun, about twice as far as the more typical halo that is 22 degrees from the sun."

"Most clouds are made of water droplets," he said. "The ice crystals in the clouds scatter the sunlight to produce the rainbow-colored arc."

Cool, but how the hell am I supposed to get to the pot of gold at the end of that? "Hire one of those little airplanes that tows banners over the beach." You know, you really don't get enough credit for your genius. Here -- I want you to have this. "A #1 STUNNER coffee mug?" You've earned it, drink cheap hooch out of it proudly.

Thanks to Scott R, who agrees the leprechaun guarding that pot of gold better watch out for the plane's propeller if he knows what's best for him.

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