Weather Blog

What is a sun pillar?

What is a sun pillar?
Patricia Gordon captured this photo at sunset near Tulalip, Washington on Nov. 15th. But note the vertical stripe of light near the horizon?

That's called a "sun pillar," and it's caused by ice crystals in clouds positioned in just the right way that it reflects the sun light in this column-like fashion. Here are some other sun pillar photos.

Here is the full version of the photo, also showing off the spectacular sky:



And here is one taken by Jean Falconer in Sequim: