Weather Blog

Red rainbows, glorious sunrises and a very unlucky weather station

Red rainbows, glorious sunrises and a very unlucky weather station
Photo of red rainbow taken by Dr. Dale Ireland on Nov. 24, 2011.

A bit of a potpourri blog to tide us over the rest of Thanksgiving weekend.

First up, we all know the rainbow is made up mostly of 7 colors, but have you ever seen a red rainbow before?

Dr. Dale Ireland captured this optical treat early Thanksgiving morning from his web camera in Silverdale -- note how the reds were much more brilliant than the other colors.

The rainbow itself was normal, but it was the mist and fog around the rainbow that I think contributed to its eerie colors.

 The red part of the spectrum of light have longer wavelengths than the blues and greens. Thus, particles in the air are more likely to scatter out the blues and greens, and leave the red wavelengths intact -- this is similar to what causes our red sunsets.

In Dale's case, I think the fog ad mist in the foreground of the rainbow scattered out the blue and greens, leaving the rainbow appear red to you.

Here is a short video of the event:



Speaking of scattering light, check out this amazing sunrise shot by Ed Cornachio in Freeland.



Now there is some serious light scattering going on here!

Finally, while still on the subject of scattering, check out this poor weather station in Oklahoma:


The Oklahoma State Climatologist says this is what's left of their Tipton weather station after it was struck by a tornado on Nov. 7.

And it wasn't the only one. They think they lost their station at Fort Cobb to a tornado as well.

What's even more amazing is that this program of statewide weather stations has been in existence since 1994 and they have over 100 such stations in the network. And never before had they lost one to a tornado. Then they lost two on the same day.  (And did we also mention this was the same day they had their 5.6 earthquake too?)

By the way, I looked up the weather data from both and the tornado must have either snuck up on them or knocked out the feed ahead of time because in the minutes leading up to their final report, there was no sign of any strong winds. 

Unlike the weather station in El Reno which did survive a direct hit and lived to tell about it.