Weather Blog

Brilliant sun halo spells doom for clear weather

Brilliant sun halo spells doom for clear weather
Photo: Dr. Dale Ireland of Silverdale, WA

After three days of glorious sunshine and what passes for warm weather around here, the signs of change were coming to Western Washington as an approaching front began to spread high clouds into the region.

But the brief sunny spell isn't going down without a show. The high clouds, made of tiny ice crystals, were in the perfect spot to make a brilliant halo around the sun.

Those ice crystals refract the sunlight much like a prism will and voila! You have a rainbow halo around the sun. It works the same way with moonlight, and it's usually a sign that rain is on the way, as high clouds usually precede a storm front.

And sure enough, rain is in the forecast at times this weekend. So enjoy the sun's show today -- it might be a while before we see the sun again :)

UPDATE: Some more photos in on Saturday show there were even more atmospheric optics in play on Friday. Look at the 2nd and 3rd photos below. (More info on these arcs from my blog on April 11, which was the last time the halos were out.)

Photo: Twitter user @wplate

Photo: John Scurlock (More phots from him here.)

Photo: Wade B. Clark, Jr.

Twitter user @inkprincess

Twitter user @WaWeatherFan

Wade B. Clark. Jr. from Sedro-Woolley